Speech Collections

President Joe Biden's
inauguration speech
in full
January 20, 2021

This is America's day. This is democracy's day. A day of history and hope,
of renewal and resolve.

Through a crucible for the ages, America has been tested a new and
America has risen to the challenge.

Today we celebrate the triumph not of a candidate but of a cause,
a cause of democracy. The people – the will of the people – has been heard,
and the will of the people has been heeded.

We've learnt, again, that democracy is precious. Democracy is fragile.
And, at this hour my friends, democracy has prevailed.

So now on this hallowed ground, where just a few days ago, violence sought
to shake the Capitol's very foundations, we come together as one nation
under God – indivisible – to carry out the peaceful transfer of power
as we have for more than two centuries.

As we look ahead in our uniquely American way, restless, bold, optimistic and
set our sights on a nation we know we can be and must be, I thank my
predecessors of both parties. I thank them from the bottom of my heart.

And I know the resilience of our Constitution and the strength, the strength of
our nation, as does President Carter, who I spoke with last night who cannot be
with us today, but who we salute for his lifetime of service.

I've just taken a sacred oath each of those patriots have taken.
The oath, first sworn by George Washington. But the American story depends
not on any one of us, not on some of us, but on all of us. On we the people
who seek a more perfect union.

This is a great nation, we are good people and over the centuries through storm and strife in peace and in war we've come so far. But we still have far to go.

We'll press forward with speed and urgency for we have much to do in this winter of peril and significant possibility.

Much to do, much to heal, much to restore, much to build and much to gain.

Few people in our nation's history have been more challenged or found a time more challenging or difficult than the time we're in now.

A once in a century virus that silently stalks the country has taken as many lives in one year as in all of World War Two.

Millions of jobs have been lost. Hundreds of thousands of businesses closed. A cry for racial justice, some 400 years in the making, moves us. The dream of justice for all will be deferred no longer. A cry for survival comes from the planet itself, a cry that can't be any more desperate or any more clear now. The rise of political extremism, white supremacy, domestic terrorism, that we must confront and we will defeat.

To overcome these challenges, to restore the soul and secure the future of America, requires so much more than words.

It requires the most elusive of all things in a democracy – unity. Unity.

In another January on New Year's Day in 1863, Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation. When he put pen to paper the president said, and I quote, 'if my name ever goes down in history, it'll be for this act, and my whole soul is in it'.

My whole soul is in it today, on this January day. My whole soul is in this. Bringing America together, uniting our people, uniting our nation.

And I ask every American to join me in this cause.

Uniting to fight the foes we face – anger, resentment and hatred. Extremism, lawlessness, violence, disease, joblessness, and hopelessness.

With unity, we can do great things, important things. We can right wrongs, we can put people to work in good jobs, we can teach our children in safe schools. We can overcome the deadly virus, we can rebuild work, we can rebuild the middle class and make work secure, we can secure racial justice and we can make America once again the leading force for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are deep and they are real.

But I also know they are not new. Our history has been a constant struggle between the American ideal, that we are all created equal, and the harsh ugly reality that racism, nativism and fear have torn us apart. The battle is perennial and victory is never secure.

Through civil war, the Great Depression, World War, 9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setback, our better angels have always prevailed.

In each of our moments, enough of us have come together to carry all of us forward and we can do that now. History, faith and reason show the way. The way of unity.

We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbours. We can treat each other with dignity and respect. We can join forces, stop the shouting and lower the temperature. For without unity there is no peace, only bitterness and fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage. No nation, only a state of chaos.

This is our historic moment of crisis and challenge. And unity is the path forward. And we must meet this moment as the United States of America.

If we do that, I guarantee we will not fail. We have never, ever, ever, ever failed in America when we've acted together. And so today at this time in this place, let's start afresh, all of us.

Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another, see one another. Show respect to one another. Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path.

Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause for total war and we must reject the culture in which facts themselves are manipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this. We have to be better than this and I believe America is so much better than this. Just look around. Here we stand in the shadow of the Capitol dome.

As mentioned earlier, completed in the shadow of the Civil War. When the union itself was literally hanging in the balance. We endure, we prevail. Here we stand, looking out on the great Mall, where Dr King spoke of his dream.

Here we stand, where 108 years ago at another inaugural, thousands of protesters tried to block brave women marching for the right to vote. And today we mark the swearing-in of the first woman elected to national office, Vice President Kamala Harris.

Don't tell me things cannot change. Here we stand where heroes who gave the last full measure of devotion rest in eternal peace.

And here we stand just days after a riotous mob thought they could use violence to silence the will of the people, to stop the work of our democracy, to drive us from this sacred ground. It did not happen, it will never happen, not today, not tomorrow, not ever. Not ever.

To all those who supported our campaign, I'm humbled by the faith you placed in us. To all those who did not support us, let me say this. Hear us out as we move forward. Take a measure of me and my heart.

If you still disagree, so be it. That's democracy, that's America. The right to dissent peacefully. And the guardrail of our democracy is perhaps our nation's greatest strength.

If you hear me clearly, disagreement must not lead to disunion. And I pledge this to you. I will be a President for all Americans. All Americans.

And I promise you I will fight for those who did not support me as for those who did.

Many centuries ago, St Augustine – the saint of my church – wrote that a people was a multitude defined by the common objects of their love. Defined by the common objects of their love.

What are the common objects we as Americans love, that define us as Americans? I think we know. Opportunity, security, liberty, dignity, respect, honour, and yes, the truth.

Recent weeks and months have taught us a painful lesson. There is truth and there are lies. Lies told for power and for profit. And each of us has a duty and a responsibility as citizens as Americans and especially as leaders. Leaders who are pledged to honour our Constitution to protect our nation. To defend the truth and defeat the lies.

Look, I understand that many of my fellow Americans view the future with fear and trepidation. I understand they worry about their jobs. I understand like my dad, they lay in bed at night staring at the ceiling thinking: 'Can I keep my healthcare? Can I pay my mortgage?' Thinking about their families, about what comes next. I promise you, I get it. But the answer's not to turn inward. To retreat into competing factions. Distrusting those who don't look like you, or worship the way you do, who don't get their news from the same source as you do.

We must end this uncivil war that pits red against blue, rural versus urban, conservative versus liberal. We can do this if we open our souls instead of hardening our hearts, if we show a little tolerance and humility, and if we're willing to stand in the other person's shoes, as my mom would say. Just for a moment, stand in their shoes.

Because here's the thing about life. There's no accounting for what fate will deal you. Some days you need a hand. There are other days when we're called to lend a hand. That's how it has to be, that's what we do for one another. And if we are that way our country will be stronger, more prosperous, more ready for the future. And we can still disagree.

My fellow Americans, in the work ahead of us we're going to need each other. We need all our strength to persevere through this dark winter. We're entering what may be the darkest and deadliest period of the virus. We must set aside politics and finally face this pandemic as one nation, one nation. And I promise this, as the Bible says, 'Weeping may endure for a night, joy cometh in the morning'. We will get through this together. Together.

Look, folks, all my colleagues I serve with in the House and the Senate up here, we all understand the world is watching. Watching all of us today. So here's my message to those beyond our borders. America has been tested and we've come out stronger for it. We will repair our alliances, and engage with the world once again. Not to meet yesterday's challenges but today's and tomorrow's challenges. And we'll lead not merely by the example of our power but the power of our example.

Fellow Americans, moms, dads, sons, daughters, friends, neighbours and co-workers. We will honour them by becoming the people and the nation we can and should be. So I ask you, let's say a silent prayer for those who lost their lives, those left behind and for our country. Amen.

Folks, it's a time of testing. We face an attack on our democracy, and on truth, a raging virus, a stinging inequity, systemic racism, a climate in crisis, America's role in the world. Any one of these would be enough to challenge us in profound ways. But the fact is we face them all at once, presenting this nation with one of the greatest responsibilities we've had. Now we're going to be tested. Are we going to step up?

It's time for boldness for there is so much to do. And this is certain, I promise you. We will be judged, you and I, by how we resolve these cascading crises of our era. We will rise to the occasion. Will we master this rare and difficult hour? Will we meet our obligations and pass along a new and better world to our children?

I believe we must and I'm sure you do as well. I believe we will, and when we do, we'll write the next great chapter in the history of the United States of America. The American story.

A story that might sound like a song that means a lot to me, it's called American Anthem. And there's one verse that stands out at least for me and it goes like this …

'The work and prayers of centuries have brought us to this day, which shall be our legacy, what will our children say?

Let me know in my heart when my days are through, America, America, I gave my best to you.'

Let us add our own work and prayers to the unfolding story of our great nation. If we do this, then when our days are through, our children and our children's children will say of us: 'They gave their best, they did their duty, they healed a broken land.'

My fellow Americans I close the day where I began, with a sacred oath. Before God and all of you, I give you my word. I will always level with you. I will defend the Constitution, I'll defend our democracy.

I'll defend America and I will give all – all of you – keep everything I do in your service. Thinking not of power but of possibilities. Not of personal interest but of the public good.

And together we will write an American story of hope, not fear. Of unity not division, of light, not darkness. A story of decency and dignity, love and healing, greatness and goodness. May this be the story that guides us. The story that inspires us. And the story that tells ages yet to come that we answered the call of history, we met the moment. Democracy and hope, truth and justice, did not die on our watch but thrive.

That America secured liberty at home and stood once again as a beacon to the world. That is what we owe our forbearers, one another, and generations to follow.

So with purpose and resolve, we turn to those tasks of our time. Sustained by faith, driven by conviction and devoted to one another and the country we love with all our hearts. May God bless America and God protect our troops.

Thank you, America.

Updated: January 21, 2021 06:32 PM

Biden's Speech  
`We can do great things'
  Jan.20, 2021

With unity, we can do great things, important things.
We can right wrongs. We can put people to work in good jobs.
We can teach our children in safe schools.
We can overcome the deadly virus. We can reward -
reward work and re-build the middle class
and make health care secure for all. We can deliver racial justice,
and we can make America once again the leading force
for good in the world.

I know speaking of unity can sound to some like a foolish
fantasy these days. I know the forces that divide us are
deep, and they are real, but I also know they are not new.

Our history has been a constant struggle between
the American ideal that we are all created equal and
the harsh, ugly reality that racism, nativism, fear,
demonization have long torn us apart.

The battle is perennial, and victory is never assured.

Through Civil War, the Great Depression, world war,
9/11, through struggle, sacrifice, and setbacks,
our better angels have always prevailed.

In each of these moments, enough of us, enough of
us have come together to carry all of us forward, and
we can do that now.

History, faith, and reason show the way, the way of unity.
We can see each other not as adversaries but as neighbors.
We can treat each other with dignity and respect.
We can join forces, stop the shouting, and lower
the temperature.

For without unity, there is no peace, only bitterness and
fury, no progress, only exhausting outrage; no nation,
only a state of chaos. This is our historic moment of
crisis and challenge and unity is the path forward.

And we must meet this moment as the United States of

If we do that, I guarantee you we will not fail.
We have never ever ever ever failed in America
when we have acted together, and so today at this time
in this place, let's start off fresh all of us.
Let's begin to listen to one another again, hear one another,
see one another, show respect to one another.

Politics doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything
in its path. Every disagreement doesn't have to be a cause
for total war, and we must reject the culture in which facts
themselves aremanipulated and even manufactured.

My fellow Americans, we have to be different than this.
America has to be better thanthis, and
I believe America is so much better than this.

the end

General Douglas MacArthur's
Address to Congress

April 19, 1951

Mr. President, Mr. Speaker and Distinguished Members of the Congress:

I stand on this rostrum with a sense of deep humility and pride - humility in the weight of those great architects of our history who have stood here before me, pride in the reflection that this home of legislative debate represent human liberty in the purest form yet devised.

Here are centered the hopes and aspirations and faith of the entire human race.

I do not stand here as advocate for any partisan cause, for the issues are fundamental and reach quite beyond the realm of partisan considerations. They must be resolved on the highest plane of national interest if our course is to prove sound and our future protected.

I trust, therefore, that you will do me the justice of receiving that which I have to say as solely expressing the considered viewpoint of a fellow American.

I address you with neither rancor nor bitterness in the fading twilight of life, with but one purpose in mind: to serve my country.

The issues are global, and so interlocked that to consider the problems of one sector oblivious to those of another is to court disaster for the whole. While Asia is commonly referred to as the Gateway to Europe, it is no less true that Europe is the Gateway to Asia, and the broad influence of the one cannot fail to have its impact upon the other. There are those who claim our strength is inadequate to protect on both fronts, that we cannot divide our effort. I can think of no greater expression of defeatism.

If a potential enemy can divide his strength on two fronts, it is for us to counter his effort. The Communist threat is a global one.

Its successful advance in one sector threatens the destruction of every other sector. You can not appease or otherwise surrender to communism in Asia without simultaneously undermining our efforts to halt its advance in Europe.

Beyond pointing out these general truisms, I shall confine my discussion to the general areas of Asia. Before one may objectively assess the situation now existing there, he must comprehend something of Asia's past and the revolutionary changes which have marked her course up to, the present. Long exploited by the so-called colonial powers, with little opportunity to achieve any degree of social justice, individual dignity or a higher standard life such as guided our own noble administration in the Philippines, the people of Asia found their opportunity in the war just past to throw off the shackles of colonialism and now see the dawn of new opportunity and heretofore unfelt dignity, and the self-respect of political freedom.

Mustering half of the earth's population, and 60 percent of its natural resources these peoples are rapidly consolidating a new force, both moral and material, with which to raise the living standard and erect adaptations of the design of modern progress to their own distinct cultural environments.

Whether one adheres to the concept of colonialization or not, this is the direction of Asian progress and it may not be stopped. It is a corollary to the shift of the world economic frontiers as the whole epicenter of world affairs rotates back toward the area whence it started.

In this situation, it becomes vital that our own country orient its policies in consonance with this basic evolutionary condition rather than pursue a course blind to reality that the colonial era is now past and the Asian peoples covet the right to shape their own free destiny. What they seek now is friendly guidance, understanding and support, not imperious direction, the dignity of equality and not the shame of subjugation.

Their pre-war standard of life, pitifully low, is infinitely lower now in the devastation left in war's wake. World ideologies play little part in Asian thinking and are little understood.

What the peoples strive for is the opportunity for a little more food in their stomachs, a little better clothing on their backs and a little firmer roof over their heads, and the realization of the normal nationalist urge for political freedom.

These political-social conditions have but an indirect bearing upon our own national security, but do form a backdrop to contemporary planning which must be thoughtfully considered if we are to avoid the pitfalls of unrealism.

Of more direct and immediately bearing upon our national security are the changes wrought in the strategic potential of the Pacific Ocean in the course of the past war.

Prior thereto the western strategic frontier of the United States lay on the literal line of the Americas, with an exposed island salient extending out through Hawaii, Midway and Guam to the Philippines. That salient proved not an outpost of strength but an avenue of weakness along which the enemy could and did attack. The Pacific was a potential area of, advance for any predatory force intent upon striking at the bordering land areas.

All this was changed by our Pacific victory, our strategic frontier then shifted to embrace the entire Pacific Ocean, which became a vast moat to protect us as long as we hold it. Indeed, it acts as a protective shield for all of the Americas and all free lands of the Pacific Ocean area, We control it to the shores of Asia by a chain of islands extending in an arc from the Aleutians to the Mariannas held by us and our free allies.

From this island chain we can dominate with sea and air power every Asiatic port from Vladivostok to Singapore - with sea and air power every port, as I said, from Vladivostok to Singapore - and prevent any hostile movement into the Pacific.

Any predatory attack from Asia must be an amphibious effort. No amphibious force can be successful without control of the sea lanes and the air over those lanes in its avenue of advance. With naval and air supremacy and modest ground elements to defend bases, any maj . or attack from continental Asia toward us or our friends in the Pacific would be doomed to failure.

Under such conditions, the Pacific no longer represents menacing avenues of approach for a prospective invader. It assumes, instead, the friendly aspect of a peaceful lake.

Our line of defense is a natural one and can be maintained with a minimum of military effort and expenses. It envisions no attack against anyone, nor does it provide the bastions essential for offensive operations, but properly maintained, would be an invincible defense against aggression.

The holding of this defense line in the western Pacific is entirely dependent upon holding all segments thereof, for any major breach of that line by an unfriendly power would render vulnerable to determine attack every other major segment. This is a military estimate as to which I have yet to find a military leader who will take exception.

For that reason, I have strongly recommended in the past. as a matter of military urgency, that under no circumstances must Formosa fall under Communist control. Such an eventuality would at once threaten the freedom of the Philippines and the loss of Japan and might well force our western frontier back to the coast of California Oregon and Washington.

To understand the changes which now appear upon the Chinese mainland, one must understand the changes in Chinese character and culture over the past 50 years. China up to 50 years ago was completely non-homogenous, being compartmented into groups divided against each other. The war-making tendency was almost non-existent as they still followed the tenets of the Confucian ideal of pacifist culture.

At the turn of the century under the regime of Chang Tso Lin efforts toward greater homogenity produced the start of a nationalist urge. This was further and more successfully developed under the leadership of Chiang Kai-Shek, but has been brought to its greatest fruition under the present regime to the point that it has now taken on the character of a united nationalism of increasingly dominant aggressive tendencies.

Through these past 50 years the Chinese people have thus become militarize in their concepts and in their ideals. They now constitute excellent soldiers, with competent staffs, and commanders. This has produced a new and dominant power in Asia, which, for its own purposes, is allied with Soviet Russia but which in its own concepts and methods has become aggressively imperialistic, with a lust for expansions and increased power normal to this type of imperialism.

There is little of the ideological concept either one way or another in the Chinese make-up. The standard of living is so low and the capital accumulation has been so thoroughly dissipated by war that the masses are desperate and eager to follow any leadership which seems to promise the alleviation of woeful stringencies.

I have from the beginning believed that the Chinese Communists' support of the North Koreans was the dominant one. Their interests are at present parallel with those of the Soviet, but I believe that the aggressiveness recently displayed not only in Korea but also in Indo-China arid Tibet and pointing potentially toward the South reflects predominantly the same lust for the expansion of power which has animated every would-be conqueror since the beginning of time.

The Japanese people since the war have undergone the greatest reformation recorded in modern history, With a commendable will, eagerness to learn, and marked capacity to understand, they have from the ashes left in war's wake erected in Japan an edifice dedicated to the supremacy of individual liberty and personal dignity and in the ensuing process there has been created a truly representative government committed to the advance of political morality, freedom of economic enterprise, and social justice.

Politically, economically, and socially Japan is now abreast of many free nations of the earth and will not again fail the universal trust. That it may be counted upon to wield a profoundly beneficial influence over the course of events in Asia is attested by the magnificent manner in which the Japanese people have met the recent challenge of war, unrest and confusion surrounding them from the outside and checked communism within their own frontiers without the slightest slackening in their forward progress.

I sent all four of our occupation divisions to the Korean battlefront, without the slightest qualms as to the effect of the resulting power vacuum upon Japan. The results fully justified my faith.

I know of no nation more serene, orderly and industrious, nor in which higher hopes can be entertained for future constructive service in the advance of the human race.

Of our former ward, the Philippines, we can look forward in confidence that the existing unrest will be corrected and a strong and healthy nation will grow in the longer aftermath of war's terrible destructiveness We must be patient and understanding and never fail them. As in our hour of need, they did not fail us.

A Christian nation, the Philippines stand as a mighty bulwark of Christianity in the Far East, and its capacity for high moral leadership in Asia is unlimited.

On Formosa the government of the Republic of China has had the opportunity to refute by action much of the malicious gossip which so undermined the strength of its leadership on the Chinese mainland. The Formosan people are receiving a just and enlightened administration with majority representation in the organs of government, and politically, economically and socially they appear to be advancing along sound and constructive lines,

With this brief insight into the surrounding area, I now turn to the Korean conflict.

While I was not consulted prior to the President's decision to intervene in support of the Republic of Korea, that decision from a military standpoint, proved a sound one. As I said, it proved to be a sound one, as we hurled back the invader and decimated his forces. Our victory was complete, and our objectives within reach, when Red China intervened with numerically superior ground forces.

This created a new war and an entirely new situation, a situation not contemplated when our forces were committed against the North Korean invaders; a situation which called for new decisions in the diplomatic sphere to permit the realistic adjustment of ail litary strategy. Such decisions have not been forthcoming.

While no man in his right mind would advocate sending our ground forces into continental China, and such was never given a thought, the new situation did urgently demand a drastic revision of strategic planning if our political aim was to defeat this new enemy as we had defeated the old one.

Apart from the military need, as I saw It, to neutralize sanctuary protection given the enemy north of the Yalu, I felt that military necessity in the conduct of the war made necessary the intesification of our economic blockade against China, the imposition of a naval blockade against the China coast, removal of restrictions on air reconnaissance of China's coastal area and of Manchuria, removal of restrictions on the forces of the Republic of China on Formosa, with logistical support to contribution to-their effective operations against the Chinese mainland.

For entertaining these views, all professionally designed to support our forces in Korea and to bring hostilities to an end with the least possible delay and at a saving of countless American arid allied lives, I have been severely criticized in lay circles, principally abroad, despite my understanding that from a military standpoint the above views have been fully shared in the past by practically every military leader concerned with the Korean campaign, including our own Joint Chiefs of Staff.

I called for reinforcements, but was informed that reinforcements were riot available. I made clear that if not permitted to destroy the enemy built-up bases north of the Yalu, if not permitted to utilize the friendly Chinese Force of some 600,000 men on Formosa, if not permitted to blockade the China coast to prevent the Chinese Reds from getting succor from without, and if there was to be no hope of major reinforcements, the position of the command from the military standpoint forbade victory.

We could hold in Korea by constant maneuver and in an approximate area where our supply line advantages were in balance with the supply line disadvantages of the enemy, but we could hope at best for only an indecisive campaign with its terrible and constant attrition upon our forces if the enemy utilized its full military potential.

I have constantly called for the new political decisions essential to a solution.

Efforts have been made to distort my position. It has been said in effect that I was a warmonger. Nothing could be further from the truth.

I know war as f ew other men now living know it, and nothing to me--and nothing to me is more revolting. I have long advocated its complete abolition, as its very destructiveness on both friend and foe has rendered it useless as a means of settling international disputes.

Indeed, the Second Day of September, 1945, just following the surrender of the Japanese nation on the Battleship Missouri, I formally cautioned as follows:

"Men since the beginning of time have sought peace. Various methods through the ages have been attempted to devise an international process to prevent or settle disputes between nations. From the very start workable methods were found in so far as individual citizens were concerned, but the mechanics of an instrumentality of larger international scope have never been successful. Military alliances, balances of power, Leagues of Nations, all in turn failed, leaving the only path to be 'by way of the crucible of war. The utter destructiveness of war now blocks out, this alternative. We have had our last chance. If we will not devise some greater and more equitable system, Armageddon will be at our door. The problem basically is theological and involves a spiritual recrudescence and improvement of human character that will synchronize with our almost matchless advances in science, art, literature and all the material and cultural developments of the past 2000 years. It must be of the spirit if we are to save the flesh. "

But once war is forced upon us, there is no other alternative than to apply every available means to bring it to a swift end. War's very object is victory, not prolonged indecision.

In war there can be no substitute for victory.

There are some who for varying reasons would appease Red China. They are blind to history's clear lesson, for history teaches with unmistakable emphasis that appeasement but begets new and bloodier wars. It points to no single instance where this end has justified that means, where appeasement has led to more than a sham peace. Like blackmail, it lays the basis for new and successively greater demands until, as in blackmail, violence becomes the only other alternative. Why, my soldiers asked me, surrender military advantages to an enemy in the field? I could not answer.

Some, may say to avoid spread of the conflict into an all-out war with China, Others, to avoid Soviet intervention. Neither explanation seems valid, for China is already engaging with the maximum power It can commit, and the Soviet will not necessarily mesh its actions with our moves. Like a cobra, any new enemy, will more likely strike whenever it feels that the relativity of military and other potentialities is in its favor on a world-wide basis.

The tragedy of Korea is further heightened by the fact that its military action was confined to its territorial limits. It condemns that nation, which it Is our purpose to save, to suffer the devastating impact of full naval and air bombardment while the enemy's sanctuaries are fully protected from such attack and devastation.

Of the nations of the world, Korea alone, up to now, is the sole one which has risked its all against communism. The magnificence of the courage and fortitude of the Korean people defies description. They have chosen to risk death rather than slavery. Their last words to me were: "Don't scuttle the Pacific.

I have just left your fighting sons in Korea. They have done their bust there, and I can report to you without reservation that they are splendid in every way.

It was my constant effort to preserve them and end this savage conflict honorably and with the least loss of time and a minimum sacrif ice of life. Its growing bloodshed has caused me the deepest anguish and anxiety. Those gallant men will remain often in my thoughts and in my prayers always.

I am closing my 52 years of military service. When I joined the Army, even before the turn of the century, it was the fullfillment of all of my boyish hopes and dreams. The world has turned over many times since I took the oath at West Point, and the hopes and dreams have all since vanished, but I still remember the refrain of one of the most popular barracks ballads of that day which proclaimed most proudly that old soldiers never die; they just fade away. And like the old soldier of that ballad, I now close my military career and just fade away, an old soldier who tried to do his duty as God gave him the light to see that duty.

Good Bye.


"The World and Japan" Database (Project Leader: TANAKA Akihiko)
Database of Japanese Politics and International Relations
National Graduate Institute for Policy Studies (GRIPS); Institute for Advanced Studies on Asia (IASA), The University of Tokyo

[Title] Prime Minister Shigeru Yoshida's Speech at the San Francisco Peace Conference

[Place] San Francisco
[Date] September 7, 1951
[Source] Gaimusho joyaku-kyoku hokika, Heiwa joyaku no teiketsu ni kansuru chosho VII, pp.313-317.
[Full text]

The peace treaty before the Conference contains no punitive or retaliatory clauses; nor does it impose upon Japan any permanent restrictions or disabilities. It will restore the Japanese people to full sovereignty, equality, and freedom, and reinstate us as a free and equal member in the community of nations. It is not a treaty of vengeance, but an instrument of reconsiliation{sic}. The Japanese Delegation gladly accepts this fair and generous treaty.

On the other hand, during these past few days in this very conference hall criticisms and complaints have been voiced by some delegations against this treaty. It is impossible that anyone can be completely satisfied with a multilateral peace settlement of this kind. Even we Japanese, who are happy to accept the treaty, find in it certain points which cause us pain and anxiety.

I speak of this with diffidence, bearing in mind the treaty's fairness and magnanimity unparalleled in history and the position of Japan. But I would be remiss in my obligation to my own people if I failed to call your attention to these points.

In the first place, there is the matter of territorial disposition. As regards the Ryukyu archipelago and the Bonins which may be placed under United Nations trusteeship, I welcome in the name of the Japanese nation the statements by the American and British Delegates on the residual sovereignty of Japan over the islands south of the 29th degree, north latitude. I cannot but hope that the administration of these islands will be put back into Japanese hands in the not distant future with the reestablishment of world security-especially the security of Asia.

With respect to the Kuriles and South Sakhalin, I cannot yield to the c1aim of the Soviet Delegate that Japan had grabbed them by aggression. At the time of the opening of Japan, her ownership of two islands of Etoroff and Kunashiri of the South Kuriles was not questioned at all by the Czarist government. But the North Kuriles north of Urruppu and the southern half of Sakhalin were areas open to both Japanese and Russian settlers. On May 7, 1875 the Japanese and Russian Governments effected through peaceful negotiations an arrangement under which South Sakhalin was made Russian territory, and the North Kuriles were in exchange made Japanese territory.

But really, under the name of "exchange" Japan simply ceded South Sakhalin to Russia in order to settle the territorial dispute. It was under the Treaty of Portsmouth of 1905 concluded through the intermediary of President Theodore Roosevelt of the United States that South Sakhalin became also Japanese territory.

Both Sakhalin and the North and South Kuriles were taken unilaterally by Russia as of September 20, 1945, shortly after Japan's surrender. Even the islands of Habomai and Shikotan, constituting part of Hokkaido, one of Japan's four main islands, are still being occupied by Soviet forces simply because they happened to be garrisoned by Japanese troops at the time when the war ended.

The second point is economic. Japan has lost 45 percent of her entire territory together with its resources. Her population of almost 84 million has to be confined within the remaining areas, which are war-devastated, with their important cities bombed and burnt. The peace treaty will deprive Japan of her vast overseas assets. Moreover, article 14 empowers Allied Nations, which have suffered no damage from the war, to seize Japanese private property in their countries. There is fear as to whether Japan, reduced to such a predicament, could ever manage to pay reparations to certain designated Allied Powers without shifting the burden upon the other Allied Powers. However, we have undertaken the obligations of the treaty in this respect, and we mean to carry them out. I solicit the understanding and support of the governments concerned vis-a-vis Japan's efforts toward a satisfactory solution of this problem in the face of huge difficulties.

With her war-shattered economy salvaged through American aid, Japan is making progress on the road of recovery. We are determined that our nation shall cease to be a burden on other countries but shall contribute positively to world prosperity, while observing fully the fair trade practices in international commerce. For this purpose domestic laws have already been promulgated. By perfecting this legislative machinery and by participating in the various international agreements we intend to contribute to the wholesome development of world trade. The present treaty opens the door to the realization of such aspirations of Japan in the field of international economy. But the same door may be closed by the Allied Nations at any time. This may be an inherent feature of such a peace treaty. I only hope that the door will be kept open by all countries as widely as possible.

Since my speech was prepared I have heard the three questions put to me this morning by the distinguished Foreign Minister of Indonesia. The questions seek to resolve doubts such as have been expressed by some others.

The answer to these questions is "Yes" since that means in our opinion a fair interpretation of articles 14 and 9 of the treaty. I hope that this answer will resolve any doubts of others as to Japan's good intentions under the treaty.

Thirdly, there is the question of repatriation. The conclusion of this peace treaty arouses afresh the anxiety of the Japanese people regarding the fate of the more than 340 thousand of their compatriots, who have failed to return. In the name of humanity I would like to appeal to all Allied Powers for continued assistance and cooperation toward speeding the repatriation of these hapless Japanese nationals through the instrumentality of the United Nations, or by any other means. We are thankful that a provision relating to repatriation has been inserted in the treaty at the final stage of drafting.

In spite of the existence of these causes for anxiety, or rather because of it, Japan is all the more anxious to conclude the peace treaty. For we expect that Japan as a sovereign and equal power would gain wider opportunities for eliminating anxiety, as wel{sic} as for dissipating the dissatisfactions, apprehensions, and misgivings on the part of other powers.

I hope the peace treaty will be signed by as many as possible of the countries represented at this Conference. Japan is determined to establish with them relations of mutual trust and understanding and to work together for the advancement of the cause of world democracy and world freedom.

It is with keen regret that the Japanese Delegation notes the absence of India and Burma. As an Asiatic nation Japan is specially desirous to cultivate relations of closest friendship and cooperation with other Asiatic nations with whom we share common problems, common spiritual and cultural heritages, and common aspirations and ideals. We hope Japan may become a good member of the world community by being first a good member of the immediate neighborhood by contributing her full share toward its prosperity and progress.

As regards China, I confine my remarks to two points. The first point is that like others, we regret that disunity prevents China from being here. The second is that the role of China trade in Japanese economy, important as it is, has often been exaggerated, as proven by our experience of the past 6 years.

Unfortunately, the sinister forces of totalitarian oppression and tyranny operate still throughout the globe. These forces are sweeping over half the Asiatic continent, sowing seeds of dissension, spreading unrest and confusion, and breaking out into open aggression here and there-indeed, at the very door of Japan. Being unarmed as we are, we must, in order to ward off the danger of war, seek help from a country that can and will help us. That is why we shall conclude a security pact with the United States under which American troops will be retained in Japan temporarily until the danger is past, or international peace and security will have been assured under the United Nations auspices or a collective security arrangement. Japan was exposed once to the menace of Czarist imperialism from the north which threatened the Kuriles and Hokkaido. Today it is the Communist menace that threatens her from the same direction. When the Allied troops are withdrawn from our country with the conclusion of peace, producing a state of vacuum in the country, it is clear as day that this tide of aggression will beat down upon our shores. It is imperative for the sake of our very existence that we take an adequate security measure.

This should not raise the bugbear of Japanese peril. Japan, beaten and battered, dispossessed of her overseas possessions and resources, is absolutely incapable of equipping herself for modern warfare to such an extent as to make her a military menace to her neighbors. For that she has not the materials; she has not the means; she has not the will.

President Truman at the opening ceremony of this Conference spoke of the sweeping political and social reforms of the spiritual regeneration, as well as the material rehabilitation of Japan, which the country has realized during the past six postwar years of Allied occupation under the wise direction and benevolent guidance of the Supreme Commander for the Allied Powers, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur, and his successor, General Ridgway. Japan of today is no longer the Japan of yesterday. We will not fail your expectations of us as a new nation dedicated to peace, democracy, and freedom.

Almost a century has passed since Japan first entered the world community by concluding a treaty of amity with the United States of America in 1854. Meanwhile there have been two world wars bringing astounding changes on the map of the Far East. Present at this Conference are the delegates representing a number of new states-most of which are members of the United Nations, born here in San Francisco 6 years ago. They are united with many other states in the East and the West in the one purpose to advance the cause of world democracy and freedom and to promote world peace and prosperity through unreserved cooperation under the Charter of the United Nations.

I am glad to believe that the signing of the Japanese Peace Treaty today marks one good fruit of their noble endeavors in that direction. It is my sincere hope that Japan will soon be permitted to join that glorious world organization of yours. For it is in the very language of the Charter itself that there is to be found the essence of the ideals and the determination of the new Japan.

Nowhere more than in Japan itself can there be found today a greater determination to play a full part in saving "succeeding generations from the scourge of war."

We have listened here to the delegates who have recalled the terrible human suffering, and the great material destruction of the late war in the Pacific. It is with feelings of sorrow that we recall the part played in that catastrophic human experience by the old Japan.

I speak of the old Japan, because out of the ashes of the old Japan there has risen a new Japan.

My people have been among those who suffered greatly from the destruction and devastation of the recent war. Purged by that suffering of all untoward ambition, of all desire for the path of military conquest, my people burn now with a passionate desire to live at peace with their neighbors in the Far East, and in the entire world, and to rebuild their society so that it will in ever greater fullness yield a better life for all.

Japan has opened a new chapter in its history.

We see in the future a new era among nations, an era of peace and harmony as described in the opening words of the Charter of the United Nations.

We seek to take our place among the nations who are dedicated to peace, to justice, to progress and freedom, and we pledge ourselves that Japan shall play its full part in striving toward these ends.

We pray that henceforth not only Japan but all mankind may know the blessings of harmony and progress.

The End


January 20, 1981

SENATOR HATFIEL Mr. Chief Justice, Mr, President,
Vice President Bush, Vice President Mondale,
Senator Baker, Speaker O'Neill, Reverend Moomaw,
and my fellow citizens :

To a few of us here today this is a solemn and most
momentous occasion. And, yet, in the history of our nation
it is a commonplace occurrence.

THE ORDERLY transfer of authority as called for
in the Constitution routinely takes place, as it has
for almost two centuries, and few of us stop to think
how unique we really are.

In the eyes of many in the world, this every-four-year
ceremony we accept as normal is nothing less than a miracle.

MR. PRESIDENT I want our fellow citizens to know how much
you did to carry on this tradition.

By your gracious cooperation in transition process
you have shown a watching world that we are a united
people pledged to maintaining a political system
which guarantees individual liberty to a greater degree
than any other, and I thank you and your people
for all your help in maintaining the continuity which is
the bulwark of our Republic.

THE BUSINESS of our nation goes forward.
These United States are confronted with an economic
affliction of great proportion.

We suffer from the longest and one of the worst sustained
inflations in our national history.

It distorts our economic decisions, penalaizes thrift and
crushes the struggling young and the fixed-income elderly

It threatens to shatter the lives of millions of our people.

Idle industries have cast workers into unemployment, human misery, and personal indignity.
Those who do work are denied a fair return for their labor by a tax system which penalizes
successful achievement and keeps us from maintaining full productivity.
But great as our tax burden is, it has not kept pace with public spending. For decades we have
piled deficit upon deficit, mortgaging our future and our children's future for the temporary
convenience of the present. To continue this long trend is to guarantee tremendous social,
cultural, political, and economic upheavals.
You and I, as individuals, can, by borrowing, live beyond our means, but for only a limited
period of time. Why, then, should we think that collectively, as a nation, we're not bound by that
same limitation? We must act today in order to preserve tomorrow. And let there be no
misunderstanding: We are going to begin to act, beginning today.
The economic ills we suffer have come upon us over several decades. They will not go away in
days, weeks, or months, but they will go away. They will go away because we as Americans
have the capacity now, as we've had in the past, to do whatever needs to be done to preserve this
last and greatest bastion of freedom.

In this present crisis, government is not the solution to our problem; government is the problem.
From time to time we've been tempted to believe that society has become too complex to be
managed by self-rule, that government by an elite group is superior to government for, by, and of
the people. Well, if no one among us is capable of governing himself, then who among us has the
capacity to govern someone else? All of us together, in and out of government, must bear the
burden. The solutions we seek must be equitable, with no one group singled out to pay a higher
We hear much of special interest groups. Well, our concern must be for a special interest group
that has been too long neglected. It knows no sectional boundaries or ethnic and racial divisions,
and it crosses political party lines. It is made up of men and women who raise our food, patrol
our streets, man our mines and factories, teach our children, keep our homes, and heal us when
we're sick -- professionals, industrialists, shopkeepers, clerks, cabbies, and truckdrivers. They
are, in short, ``We the people,'' this breed called Americans.
Well, this administration's objective will be a healthy, vigorous, growing economy that provides
equal opportunities for all Americans with no barriers born of bigotry or discrimination. Putting
America back to work means putting all Americans back to work. Ending inflation means
freeing all Americans from the terror of runaway living costs. All must share in the productive
work of this ``new beginning,'' and all must share in the bounty of a revived economy. With the
idealism and fair play which are the core of our system and our strength, we can have a strong
and prosperous America, at peace with itself and the world.

So, as we begin, let us take inventory. We are a nation that has a government -- not the other way
around. And this makes us special among the nations of the Earth. Our government has no power
except that granted it by the people. It is time to check and reverse the growth of government,
which shows signs of having grown beyond the consent of the governed.
It is my intention to curb the size and influence of the Federal establishment and to demand
recognition of the distinction between the powers granted to the Federal Government and those
reserved to the States or to the people. All of us need to be reminded that the Federal
Government did not create the States; the States created the Federal Government.
Now, so there will be no misunderstanding, it's not my intention to do away with government. It
is rather to make it work -- work with us, not over us; to stand by our side, not ride on our back.
Government can and must provide opportunity, not smother it; foster productivity, not stifle it.
If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no
other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual
genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before. Freedom and the dignity of the
individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth. The price
for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price.

It is no coincidence that our present troubles parallel and are proportionate to the intervention
and intrusion in our lives that result from unnecessary and excessive growth of government. It is
time for us to realize that we're too great a nation to limit ourselves to small dreams. We're not

as some would have us believe, doomed to an inevitable decline. I do not believe in a fate that
will fall on us no matter what we do. I do believe in a fate that will fall on us if we do nothing.
So, with all the creative energy at our command, let us begin an era of national renewal. Let us
renew our determination, our courage, and our strength. And let us renew our faith and our hope.
We have every right to dream heroic dreams. Those who say that we're in a time when there are
not heroes, they just don't know where to look. You can see heroes every day going in and out of
factory gates. Others, a handful in number, produce enough food to feed all of us and then the
world beyond. You meet heroes across a counter, and they're on both sides of that counter. There
are entrepreneurs with faith in themselves and faith in an idea who create new jobs, new wealth
and opportunity. They're individuals and families whose taxes support the government and
whose voluntary gifts support church, charity, culture, art, and education. Their patriotism is
quiet, but deep. Their values sustain our national life.
Now, I have used the words ``they'' and ``their'' in speaking of these heroes. I could say ``you''
and ``your,'' because I'm addressing the heroes of whom I speak -- you, the citizens of this
blessed land. Your dreams, your hopes, your goals are going to be the dreams, the hopes, and the
goals of this administration, so help me God.
We shall reflect the compassion that is so much a part of your makeup. How can we love our
country and not love our countrymen; and loving them, reach out a hand when they fall, heal
them when they're sick, and provide opportunity to make them self-sufficient so they will be
equal in fact and not just in theory?
Can we solve the problems confronting us? Well, the answer

Well, the answer is an unequivocal and emphatic
``yes.'' To paraphrase Winston Churchill, I did not take the oath I've just taken with the intention
of presiding over the dissolution of the world's strongest economy.
In the days ahead I will propose removing the roadblocks that have slowed our economy and
reduced productivity. Steps will be taken aimed at restoring the balance between the various
levels of government. Progress may be slow, measured in inches and feet, not miles, but we will
progress. It is time to reawaken this industrial giant, to get government back within its means,
and to lighten our punitive tax burden. And these will be our first priorities, and on these
principles there will be no compromise.
On the eve of our struggle for independence a man who might have been one of the greatest
among the Founding Fathers, Dr. Joseph Warren, president of the Massachusetts Congress, said
to his fellow Americans, "Our country is in danger, but not to be despaired of . . . . On you
depend the fortunes of America. You are to decide the important questions upon which rests the
happiness and the liberty of millions yet unborn. Act worthy of yourselves."
Well, I believe we, the Americans of today, are ready to act worthy of ourselves, ready to do
what must be done to ensure happiness and liberty for ourselves, our children, and our children's
children. And as we renew ourselves here in our own land, we will be seen as having greater
strength throughout the world. We will again be the exemplar of freedom and a beacon of hope
for those who do not now have freedom.

To those neighbors and allies who share our freedom, we will strengthen our historic ties and
assure them of our support and firm commitment. We will match loyalty with loyalty. We will
strive for mutually beneficial relations. We will not use our friendship to impose on their
sovereignty, for our own sovereignty is not for sale.
As for the enemies of freedom, those who are potential adversaries, they will be reminded that
peace is the highest aspiration of the American people. We will negotiate for it, sacrifice for it;
we will not surrender for it, now or ever.
Our forbearance should never be misunderstood. Our reluctance for conflict should not be
misjudged as a failure of will. When action is required to preserve our national security, we will
act. We will maintain sufficient strength to prevail if need be, knowing that if we do so we have
the best chance of never having to use that strength.
Above all, we must realize that no arsenal or no weapon in the arsenals of the world is so
formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries
in today's world do not have. It is a weapon that we as Americans do have. Let that be
understood by those who practice terrorism and prey upon their neighbors.
I'm told that tens of thousands of prayer meetings are being held on this day, and for that I'm
deeply grateful. We are a nation under God, and I believe God intended for us to be free. It
would be fitting and good, I think, if on each Inaugural Day in future years it should be declared
a day of prayer.
This is the first time in

our history that this ceremony has been held, as you've been told, on this
West Front of the Capitol. Standing here, one faces a magnificent vista, opening up on this city's
special beauty and history. At the end of this open mall are those shrines to the giants on whose
shoulders we stand.
Directly in front of me, the monument to a monumental man, George Washington, father of our
country. A man of humility who came to greatness reluctantly. He led America out of
revolutionary victory into infant nationhood. Off to one side, the stately memorial to Thomas
Jefferson. The Declaration of Independence flames with his eloquence. And then, beyond the
Reflecting Pool, the dignified columns of the Lincoln Memorial. Whoever would understand in
his heart the meaning of America will find it in the life of Abraham Lincoln.
Beyond those monuments to heroism is the Potomac River, and on the far shore the sloping hills
of Arlington National Cemetery, with its row upon row of simple white markers bearing crosses
or Stars of David. They add up to only a tiny fraction of the price that has been paid for our
Each one of those markers is a monument to the kind of hero I spoke of earlier. Their lives ended
in places called Belleau Wood, The Argonne, Omaha Beach, Salerno, and halfway around the
world on Guadalcanal, Tarawa, Pork Chop Hill, the Chosin Reservoir, and in a hundred rice
paddies and jungles of a place called Vietnam.

Under one such marker lies a young man, Martin Treptow, who left his job in a small town
barbershop in 1917 to go to France with the famed Rainbow Division. There, on the western
front, he was killed trying to carry a message between battalions under heavy artillery fire.
We're told that on his body was found a diary. On the flyleaf under the heading, ``My Pledge,''
he had written these words: ``America must win this war. Therefore I will work, I will save, I
will sacrifice, I will endure, I will fight cheerfully and do my utmost, as if the issue of the whole
struggle depended on me alone.''
The crisis we are facing today does not require of us the kind of sacrifice that Martin Treptow
and so many thousands of others were called upon to make. It does require, however, our best
effort and our willingness to believe in ourselves and to believe in our capacity to perform great
deeds, to believe that together with God's help we can and will resolve the problems which now
confront us.
And after all, why shouldn't we believe that? We are Americans.
God bless you, and thank you.

The End