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portion, synopsis or intimation to be £iven out or published until the READING of the President's.Message has
begun ln~either the Senate or House of Representatives.
Extreme care must therefore be exercised to avoid premature publication.

Administrative Assistant to the President

In my Budget .Message of January 9 I called attention to
the* need for immediate action on the Bretton Woods proposals for
an International Monetary Fund and an International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development. It is my purpose in this message
to indicate the Importance of these international organizations in
our plans *for a peaceful and prosperous world.
As we dedicate.our total efforts to the task of winning
this wkr we must never lose sight of the fact that victory is not
only an end in itself but, in a large sense, victory offers us the
means of achieving the. goal of lasting peace and a better way of
life. Victory does not. insure the achievement of these larger
goals—it merely offera us the opportunity—the chance—to seek
their attainment. Whether we will have the courage and vision to
avail ourselves of this tremendous opportunity—purchased at so
great a cost—Is yet to be determined. On our - shoulders rests the
heavy responsibility for making this mamentous decision. I have
said before, and I repeat again: This generation has a rendezvous
with destiny.
If we are to measure up to tlte* task of peace with the
same stature as we have measured up to the task of war, we must see
that the institutions of peace rest firmly on the solid foundations
of international.political and economic c#operation.. The cornerstone for international political cooperation is the Dumbarton Oaks
proposal for a,permanent United Nations. International political
relations will be friendly and constructive, iowever, only If solutions are found to the difficult economic problems wo face today.
The cornerstone, for international economic cooperation is th$ Bretton
Woods proposal for an International Monetary Fund and an International
Bank for Reconstruction and Development.
These proposals for an International Fund and International
B&hk are concrete evidence that the" economic objectives of the United
States agree with those of the United Nations. They illustrate our
unity of purpose! and interest in the economic field. What we need
and what they need correspond--expanded production, employment, exchange and consumption--in other'words, more goods produced, more
Jobs, more trade, and a higher standard of living for us all. To
the people of the United States this means real peacetime employment
for those who will be returning from the war and for those at home
whose wartime work has ended. It also means orders and profits to
our industries and fair prices to our farmers. We shall need prosperous markets in tho world to ensure our own prosperity, and we shall
need the goods the world can Bell us; For all these purposes, as
well as for a peace that will endure, we need the partnership of the
United Nations.
The first problem li» time which we must cope with is that
of saving life, and getting resources and people back into production*
In many of the liberate^ (rountriea moonomld life has all. but stopped.

- 2 Transportation systems are in ruins and therefore coal and raw
materials cannot be brought to factories. Many factories themselves are shattered, power plants smashed, transmission systems
broken, bridges blown up or bombed, ports clogged with sunken
wreck;?, and great rich areas 5f farm land inundated by the sea.
People aro tired and sick "and hungry. But they are eager to go
to work agein, and to create again with their own hands-and under
their own leaders the necessary physical basis of their lives.
Emergency,relief is under way behind the armies under
the authority pf local Governments, backed up first by the allied
military command and after that by the United Nations Relief and
Rehabilitation Administration. Our participation in the UNRRA
has been approved by" Congress. But neither UHRRA nor the armies
are designed for the construction or reconstruction of large
scale public works or factories or power plants or transportation
systems. That job must be done otherwise, and it must be started
The main job of restoration is not one. of relief. It
X& ojne of reconstruction which must largely be done by local people
and their Governments. They will provide the laT>or, the-local
money, and most of the materials. The same is true for all the
many plans for the improvement of transportation, 'agriculture,
industry, and housing, that are essential to the development of
the "economically backward areai8"6f the world. But some of the
things required for all these projects, both of .reconstruction
and development, will have to come from overseas. It is at this
poi.nt that our highly developed economy can p e l a role important
to the rest of the world and very profitable to the United States.
Inquiries for numerous ihatefials, and for all kinds of equipment
and machinery in connection with such projects are already being
directed to" our industries, and' many more will come. This business
will be welcome just- as soon e s the more urgent production for the
war itself ends.
The main problem will be for these countries to obtain
the means of payment. In the long run we can be paid for what we
sell abroad chiefly in*go6ds and'-services. But at the moment many
of 'the countries who want'to' be ottr customers are prostrate. Other
countries have devoted their economies • so completely to. the war that
they do not have th£ resources for reconstruction and development.
Unless & means of"financing ifi"found, such countries will be unable
to restore their economies and, in desperation, will be forced to
carry'forward aAd intensify ejti sting' syste&d of discriminatory
trade practices, restrictive exchange'controls, competitive depreciation of currencies and other forms of economic warfare. That would
destroy all our good hopes* We must move promptly to prevent its
happening, and we must move on several fronts, including finance
.and trade.
The United States should ax?t promptly upon the plan for
the International Bank,tfhichwill make or guarantee sound loans
for the fbreign currency requireinents of important reconstruction
and de/elojraont projects in member countries. One of its moet important functions will be to facilitate and make secure wide private
participation in ouch loans. The Articles of Agreement constituting
the chapter of the Bank-have been worked out with great care by an
international conference of experts and give adequate protection to
all interests. I recommend to the..Congress that wo accept the plan,
subscribe ^ho capital allotted to us, and participate -wholeheartedly
in the Bank's work.
This measure, With others I shall later-suggest> should
go far to take care of our part of the lending requirements of the
post-war years. They should help the countries concerned to get
production started, to get over the first crisis of disorganization
and fear, to begin the work of reconstruction and development; and
they "should help our farmers and our Industries to get over the
crisis of reconversion by making a large volume of export business
poeoibie in the post-war years. As confidence returns

-3 private investors will participate more and more in foreign lending
and investment without any Government assistance. But to get over
the first crisis, in the situation that confronts us, loans and
guarantees " y agencies of Government will be essential.
We all know, however, that a prosperous world economy
must be built on more than foreign investment.. Exchange rates
must be stabilized, and the ch&nnels of trade opened up throughout
the world. A large foreign trade after victory will generate production and therefore wealth. It will also make possible the
servicing of foreign investments.
Almost no one in the modern world produces what he eats
and wears and lives in. It is only by the divison of labor among
people and among geographic areas with all their varied resources,
and by the increased all-around production which specialization
makes possible, that any modern country can sustain its present
population. It is through exchange and trade that efficient production in large units becomes possible. To expand the trading
circle, to make it richer, more competitive, more varied, is a
fundamental contribution to everybody's wealth and welfare.
It is time for the United States to take the lead in
establishing the principle af economic cooperation as the foundation for expanded world trade. We propose to do this, not by setting up a super-government, but by international negotiation and
agreement, directed to the improvement of the monetary institutions
of the world and of the laws that govern trade. We have done a
good deal in thoso directions in the-last ten yeara under the Trade
Agreements Act of 193^ and throiigh the stabilization fund operated
by our Treasury. But our present enemies wore powerful in those
years tob, and they devoted all their efforts not to international
collaboration, but to autarchy, and economic warfare. When victory
is won vo must be ready to go forward rapidly on a wide front. We
all know very well that this will be a long and complicated business.
A good 6tart has boon made. The United Nations Monetary
Conference at Bretton Woods has taken a long step forward on a matter
of great practical importance to us all. The Conference submitted
a plan t* create an International Monetary Fund which will put an
end to monetary chaos. The Fund is a financial institution to
•proserve stability and order in the exchange rates between different
moneys. It does not create a single money for the world; neither
we nor anyone else is ready to do that. There will still be a different money in each country, but with the Fund in operation the
value of each currency in international trade will remain compare
atively stable. Changes in the value of foreign durrencles will
be made only after careful consideration by the Fund of the factors
involved. Furthermore, and equally important, the Fund Agreement
establishes a code of agreed principles for the conduct of exchange
and currency affairs. In a nutshell, the Fund Agreement spells the
difference between a world caught again in the maelstrom of panic
and economic warfare culminating In war—as in the 1930f s—or a
world in which the members strive for a better life through mutual
trust, cooperation and assistance. The choice is ours.
I therefore recommend prompt action by the Congress to
provide the subscription of the United States to the International
Monetary Fund, and the legislation necessary for our membership in
the Fund.
The International Fund and Bank together represent one
of the most sound and useful proposals for international collaboration now before us. On the othor hand, I do not want to leave with
you the impression that these proposals for tho Fund and Bank are
perfect in every detail. It may well be that the experience of
future years will show us how they can bo improved. I do wish to
make it clear, however, that these Articles of Agreement are the
product of the best minds that kk nations could muster. These men,

~ 4 ~

who represented nations from all parts of the globe, nations in
all stages of economic development, nations with different political
and economic philQaophies, have reached an accord which is presented
to you for youp consideration and approval. It would be a tragedy
if differences of opinion on minor details should lead us to sacrifice the basic agreement achieved on the major problems•
Nor do I want to leave with you the impression that the
Fund and the Dank are all that we will need to solve the economic
problems which will face the United Nations when the war is over.
There are other problems which we will be called upon to solve. It
is my expectation that other proposals will shortly be ready to
submit to you for your consideration. These will include the establishment of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United
Nations, broadening and strengthening of the Trade Agreements Act
of 1934, international agreement for the reduction of trade barriers,
the control of cartels and the orderly marketing of world surpluses
of certain commodities, a revision of the Export-Import Bank, and an
international oil agreement, as well as proposals in the field of
civil aviation, shipping and radio and wirexcommunications. It will
also be necessary, of course, to repeal the Johnson Act.

In this message I have recommended for your consideration
the .immediate adoption of the Bretton Woods Agreements and suggested other measures which will have to be dealt with in the near
future. They are all parts of a consistent whole. That whole is
our hope for a secure and fruitful world, a world in which plain
poople in all countries can work at tasks v/hich they do well, exchange
in peace the products of their labor, and TADrk out their several
destinies in security and peace; a world in v/hich governments, as
their major contribution to the common welfare are highly and effectively resolved to work together in practical affairs, and to
guide all their actions by the knowledge that any policy or act that
has effects abroad must be considered in tho light of those effects.
The point in history at which we stand is full of promise
and of danger. The world will either move toward unity and widely
shared prosperity or it will move apart into necessarily competing
oconomic blocs. We have a chance, we citizens of the United States,
to use our influence in favor of a more united and cooperating world*
Whether we do so will determine, as far as it is in ©ur power, the
kind of lives our grandchildren can live.


February 12, 1945.