EISENHOWER, Dwight (1890-1969), President. Four speech typescripts, drafts of Eisenhower's "Chance for Peace" Address, HEAVILY ANNOTATED BY EISENHOWER, March-April 1953. Together 42 pp., 4to, WITH SEVERAL HUNDRED WORDS IN EISENHOWER'S HAND, additional emendations in the hands of Emmet J. Hughes and others. [WITH:] HUGHES, Emmet J. Typed memo signed ("E. J. H.") to Eisenhower, 7 April 1953. 1p., 8vo, White House stationery (top right corner loss). Enclosing the latest draft of the speech. -- HUGHES. Autograph note, unsigned, n.d. 1p., 8vo, White House stationery.
"EVERY GUN THAT IS MADE...SIGNIFIES, IN THE FINAL SENSE, A THEFT FROM THOSE WHO HUNGER AND ARE NOT FED"
EISENHOWER SEES "HUMANITY HANGING FROM A CROSS OF IRON" in this passionate attack on the Cold War and the nuclear arms race, which he delivered on 16 April 1953. These drafts come from Eisenhower's principal speechwriter Emmet J. Hughes, who received input on this speech from other top administration officials including the President's brother Milton, Walter Bedell Smith, and Paul Nitze. Such a distinguished cast of authors, and Eisenhower's extensive revisions, indicate the importance of this speech for his new administration. In it he addresses every major foreign policy issue of the day, from Korea to Berlin, to Soviet relations and the nuclear arms race.
The four drafts here comprise the sixth draft (dated 31 March 1953) and three copies of the eighth draft. THERE ARE SEVERAL HUNDRED WORDS WRITTEN BY EISENHOWER in the margins and between the lines of two of these drafts (the sixth and one of the eighth). Comparing these versions with the final text, we see a number of important changes. One of the most fascinating and historically significant is the conciliatory olive branch that Eisenhower extends to the Soviets in an extensive handwritten addition to the 3/31/53 draft, only to have it toned down in the final version. Eisenhower speaks of his hopes for detente following the death of Stalin: "Certainly for either or both of us to continue with the tide, either by blind resolve or by tired acquiescence, though easy, could also be fatal. So, in whatever kind of meeting, conference or congress, either through the processes already established in the U. N. or in exploratory discussions outside that organization, this nation stands ready to meet halfway every honest offer; it will do everything that honesty and self-respect permit... We are impatient of propaganda; we want no rhetoric, no glittering generality or specious promise. We are not particular as to procedures and protocol; we want only sincerity on the part of all participants." In the final version this effusive passage is cooled down to: "We welcome every honest act of peace. We care nothing for mere rhetoric. We are only for sincerity of peaceful purpose attested by deeds."
Having seen so much war and death as a soldier, Eisenhower was determined as President to strive for peace. This address contains some of the most eloquent pleas for peace ever uttered by a statesman: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed....We pay for a single fighter with a half million bushels of wheat. We pay for a single destroyer with new homes that could have housed more than 8,000 people....This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense. Under the cloud of threatening war, it is humanity hanging from a cross of iron." He drives the point home in a final holograph addition to page 11 of one of the copies of 8th draft, when he speaks of his "indestructible faith that the Almighty created men to enjoy, not destroy, the fruits of the earth and of their toil." A rich, detailed group showing the evolution of a major Presidential address. Provenance: Emmet J. Hughes; sale to John Fleming; sale to Malcolm Forbes; Forbes Collection, Christie's 15 November 2005, lot 220 (sold as a collection of five drafts) $11,000. (4)