Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1946

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Author: Harry S Truman  | Date: July 11, 1946

162
Remarks to the Members of the Conference on Emergency Problems in Higher Education.
July 11, 1946

IT’S A PLEASURE to me to be able to welcome you to Washington this morning. I understand that one of your tremendous problems is a result of the war. So many people now want education who didn’t want it before, that you are having a difficult time taking care of all of them. Of course, I was led to believe that the war would ruin all education, but it seems to have stimulated it.

We don’t believe in wars any more, of course, but I do believe that if we can implement the United Nations Organization with a police force behind it sufficient to make its mandates stand up, we can have world peace, just as we finally after 80 years—at the end of the Civil War-obtained peace in the United States. We had to take time out to fight among ourselves, before we could make up our mindsthat the States ought to live together peaceably.

International dealings are no different from those carried on among individuals. Nations represent a community of individuals, and there isn’t any more reason why we can’t understand each other as nations than why we can’t understand each other as individuals.

Now it is your duty, as the educators of the country, to get the rising generation to believe that; and if you can overcome those prejudices which cause wars—religious prejudices, economic prejudices, misunderstandings between races and people of different languages—we can accomplish this.

You know, it would be as easy as could be to create a world peace if everybody in the world spoke the same language and read the same newspapers, and had a code of morals based on the necessity for people to live together. Unless we have a code of morals which respects the other fellow’s interests and in which we believe that we should act as we would be acted by, you never can maintain peace.

The happiest thing to me is the fact that these returned soldiers and sailors, marines, Wacs and Waves, and so forth, are giving you such a headache on education. I hope they will continue to do that. And if they do, I think the country is perfectly safe.

It is a pleasure for me to have you here this morning, and to he able to make a few off-the-cuff remarks on a subject that is very close to my heart. When a man wants an education badly enough, he usually manages to get it; but it has been our system to make it easy for him to get that education, and we want that to continue—although sometimes the struggle for something that is worth while makes it all the better, after you get it.
Thank you very much.
I hope you will have a successful meeting.

NOTE: The President spoke in his office at the White House. The conference, held under the auspices of the American Council on Education, was attended by delegate faculty members from colleges and universities and representatives of Government agencies.

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Chicago: Harry S Truman, "162 Remarks to the Members of the Conference on Emergency Problems in Higher Education.," Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1946 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1946 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.514 340. Original Sources, accessed March 2, 2024, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9GVKKNYGLP9AWY1.

MLA: Truman, Harry S. "162 Remarks to the Members of the Conference on Emergency Problems in Higher Education." Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1946, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1946 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.514, page 340. Original Sources. 2 Mar. 2024. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9GVKKNYGLP9AWY1.

Harvard: Truman, HS, '162 Remarks to the Members of the Conference on Emergency Problems in Higher Education.' in Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1946. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1946 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), P.514, pp.340. Original Sources, retrieved 2 March 2024, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=9GVKKNYGLP9AWY1.