Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961

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Author: Dwight D. Eisenhower  | Date: October 5, 1960

315
Remarks to a Group of Engineers from India Upon Completion of a Training Program in the United States.
October 5, 1960

Mr. Minister, Mr. Riddleberger, and alumni of this training and educational program:

I shall not attempt to make a commencement address in the traditional sense that we do in this country at least, whenever a class graduates from an institution of learning. But first I should like to welcome you here to this Capital where I understand you have gathered from the various institutions and industries in which you have been training, and now you are going to talk among yourselves and with others about the training you have had and how you can help each other with the special instruction you have received.

The United States has been committed for a long time to what we call a people-to-people program. We think this is one of the most brilliant features of this kind of getting together of nations, of different philosophies—at times, of different races—and certainly of different backgrounds and histories.

So we are indeed happy that you are here in this country and have gone through these institutions which we believe you will find helpful. More than that we hope that aside from the individual advantage you get, there will be real improvements brought about between the understanding—mutual understanding—of our two countries.

Now I would like to talk a little bit about my own country and its purposes, particularly in this kind of operation.

We believe by helping other peoples to bring up their economic standards—individual standards of living—that this is good for the United States. We want to live in a peaceful world. We are an industrious people. We are not combative—but we are determined to take care of ourselves.

You have been in institutions that are operated under the free enterprise system. Of this we are very proud. We have grown up in that tradition, and we believe in it, and we want to maintain it.

You have seen something of the way it operates here. In your own country industries are operated sometimes differently, sometimes in thesame pattern. To us that makes no difference. You do it your way. What we believe is this: it is important to us that the mind and spirit of man is free so he can himself decide what it is that he as one of the representatives of his own country—what that country wants to do. As long as the man has a free mind and a free spirit, we believe he is no danger to peace.

On the contrary, we believe that the great populations of the world, every one of them, wants peace. Governments—and possibly I as one member of my Government—can sometimes be stupid or ignorant or lack in understanding. But there is one thing sure: we do know that peoples want peace. They want to act according to their own ideas and convictions and deeper feelings—and their religions. That is what they want to do, instinctively, because we are humans.

Our country would like to see that done, and indeed our Government would like to see that done. It has been the main policy of our Government for many, many years, long before I came here. We will attempt to proceed along that line. We hope that more of you people will come here and carry back with you, as you will, a clear understanding of how we do things. We will say this should help you to make up your mind on the matter of how you want to do it. We don’t say that you should have our system. Maybe our system isn’t necessarily good for others. After all, we came here as a very small population into a vast region of rich resources.

Countries today that are trying to industrialize are not in that situation. So therefore they have got different problems. We merely ask you to remain free in mind and spirit, and on that basis you will certainly have a friend in the United States of America.

We want nothing—no territory. We want no influence, or domination that comes about either by military or economic power, or political power. We want to be friends with people on a basis of mutual understanding and respect, and a common dedication to the concept of the dignity of man.

I hope as you learn something more about engineering and industrial production and about steel—I can’t talk about them, I wouldn’t know anything about them, and you would laugh at me—but I do know this: you have learned something more because you have come out from your own environment and lived with people who are doing things somewhatdifferently than you do. Living under those conditions and all the rest of it, this is good.

Any one of us that goes to another nation, even for brief hours, learns something. You have gotten a real comprehension of United States thinking because you have talked not just to Presidents and politicians and Senators, you have talked to people that work, and in the production of the things that the world needs.

So I say, as you go, good luck, Godspeed. We are looking forward to having more of you here. I believe during 1961 your six hundred-man program is going to be completed. I think all of us should thank the Iron and Steel Institute for the help it has given, but I am quite sure that private enterprise and private industries and the Government will want to see this continued in some way. One of these days you people, in turn, are going to have to bring others in to show them your plants—whether it be in Africa or Asia or anywhere else, showing them how you do it there, and how you do it better than the United States.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: The President spoke in the Rose Garden at the White House. His opening words "Mr. Minister, Mr. Riddleberger" referred to D. N. Chatterjee, Minister of the Indian Embassy, and James W. Riddleberger, Director of the International Cooperation Administration.

The group of 90 Indian engineers had just completed 7 months training under the Indian Steel Training and Education Program. This program, sponsored by the ford foundation and the International Cooperation Administration, is designed to provide India with 600 trained engineers by the end of 1961.

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Chicago: Dwight D. Eisenhower, "315 Remarks to a Group of Engineers from India Upon Completion of a Training Program in the United States.," Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066 748–749. Original Sources, accessed September 30, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LIL2WVCWMGVY9NC.

MLA: Eisenhower, Dwight D. "315 Remarks to a Group of Engineers from India Upon Completion of a Training Program in the United States." Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066, pp. 748–749. Original Sources. 30 Sep. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LIL2WVCWMGVY9NC.

Harvard: Eisenhower, DD, '315 Remarks to a Group of Engineers from India Upon Completion of a Training Program in the United States.' in Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1960-1961 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1064-1066, pp.748–749. Original Sources, retrieved 30 September 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=LIL2WVCWMGVY9NC.