The following is part of a statement made by Mrs. John F. Latimer, Second Vice-President of the LWV of the US before the House Foreign Affairs Committee in support of foreign economic aid.
"...For over ten years the members of the LWV have supported measures for economic aid with emphasis on long-range programs and multilateral cooperation, particularly through the United Nations. We have always been concerned because amounts allocated. for economic aid seem pitifully small in relation to the need.... By adding the two overseas military programs to the proposed $40,000,000,000 planned for our Defense Department we get a total of over 42 billion dollars. Placed against this total, the $1,307,000,000 for economic aid in the Mutual Security Program seems microscopic.
"And yet, the current thinking of our foremost leaders in both political parties as expressed at the Feb. 25 Washington conference on "The Foreign Aspects of US National Security" is that the wars of the future with the Communist world will be economic rather than military. If the usable weapons are not to be missiles, and we pray that they won't be, then we had better equip our economic arsenals to win what will be a struggle for survival.
"As former President Truman so effectively said, "People will forgive us for spending too much in the search for peace; they will never forgive us for refusing to spend enough." These remarks have been matched by Pres. Eisenhower's many reaffirmations of the need for economic aid. Secretary Dulles, appearing before this Committee, spoke plainly when he said that the enemies of foreign aid were the real advocates of a giveaway because if they had their way, the US by now would have "given away a dozen or so nations with their hundreds of millions of people...access to essential resources... essential bases... and worst of all, America's great spiritual heritage."
"Now I would like to talk about a very small portion of the program in terms of dollars, but a very significant one in terms of US relations with the rest of the world. I am referring to the President's request for $20,000,000 to expand the United Nations Technical Assistance Program. It is undeniable that this program has been a success, yet the U.S. has steadily reduced the percentage of its contribution to the total operating fund, and the LW regrets such false economy.
"The new Special Projects Fund under the U.N.T.A, is an exciting development which was fostered by U.S. initiative to meet the rising demands for expansion of technical assistance. It is cheap for us in that we bear a share of the cost rather than carrying it all. It is vital to train other countries in the problems and responsibilities of administering aid. In a multilateral program underdeveloped countries can acquire a wider variety of this type of experience.
"It is important to avoid the psychological consequences which arise when one country does the giving and another the receiving. Under UNTA many countries both give and receive money and technicians. This type of cooperative sharing lifts the spirits of proud people and avoids the pauper-prince relationship.
"The economic aid programs are a vital part of maintaining U.S. strength. They are helping other countries build toward stability and effectiveness. They directly benefit our own economy. It is significant that almost 80 cents out of every dollar of mutual security money will be spent in the United States. Through our economic and technical assistance programs we are helping to create new world markets, where we can advantageously sell our own products and buy those produced in other countries. So we believe that both aid and trade are essential parts of a forward looking foreign policy and hope that Congress will give them both favorable consideration.
"Therefore, we urge that the House Foreign Affairs Committee authorize the full amount for economic aid requested by the President."