TLS, two pages, 7 x 10.25, personal letterhead, October 27, 1952. Letter to E. K. Irrman, editor of the National Tribune, written from "Aboard the Eisenhower Campaign Special." In full: "This is in reply to your letter received sometime ago and about which I have given considerable thought. We in America have certain moral obligations to the men who serve this country in time of war. No man should be required to be in uniform for a period longer than represents his fair and just share. To that end, the rotation system, which I supported from the very outset, should be continued. He should, furthermore, be assured that his rate of pay will be adjusted whenever necessary so that it bears an equitable relationship to the price of the things he and his family are required to buy.
When he comes home he should have adequate educational and training opportunities and such other services as will help him reach the status he would have attained had he not been called upon to serve his country.
Every disabled soldier must have the best care and treatment which this country affords. Such facilities must have the full financial support of the federal government. There must be no compromise with the best available professional skill, hospital care and rehabilitation.
In dealing with the Communist menace, I believe that the most effectively aggressive action must be undertaken by the federal government to deal with those who conspire to destroy our country. Such action must be the result of the coordinated efforts of every government agency, particularly the FBI. The program for apprehending every dangerous Communist subvert must be the result of the most carefully devised program adopted as the result of the joint effort of the Congress and the Administration. Whatever it is, the program must be designed to accomplish the maximum results in terms of eliminating this menace.
To promote an enduring peace I look to the United Nations as the best available vehicle. It deserves both the support and leadership of the United States. Its powers must not infringe upon the principles and prerogatives of our own Constitution. I am convinced that mutual defense against aggression is sound policy. This does not necessarily surrender any American sovereignty whatever or involve us in plans or commitments impossible of attainment and fulfillment.
In matters relating to the Veterans Administration, I will support provisions of the pertinent paragraphs in the 1952 Republican platform. I believe that the best interests of veterans can be provided under special aid and compensation programs, rather than including them in the Social Security system. No program of economy should overlook the legitimate rights and needs of disabled veterans.
As has been clearly stated in the Republican platform, adjustment of compensation and pension payments must be made from time to time with the changes in the cost of living. This responsibility I shall never overlook.
I have taken up briefly each of your questions. Certainly, I am committed to a fair and sympathetic treatment of those who have served and are still serving in the Armed Forces of our country. I am well aware of the social problems which are the aftermath of war, and I recognize the responsibility for their solution. I know that my running mate, Senator Nixon, who himself contributed valiantly to the fight in the Pacific, holds views much like mine. His voting record supports this fact. Every serviceman and veteran can be assured that his every problem will have fair and friendly consideration." In fine condition.
Written eight days before his landslide victory in the 1952 presidential election, Eisenhower uses this letter to present many of his most pressing campaign issues; he explains how ending “the Communist menace” will arise from a “joint effort of the Congress and the Administration,” and then alludes to the extension of the G. I. Bill to grant returning servicemen the necessary financial aid, education, and training. The matter of the Korean War, however, was the principle concern of the American people, and it wasn’t until late in his campaign, just two days before this letter, that Eisenhower made his famous policy statement on Korea: ‘It will begin with its President taking a simple, firm resolution. The resolution will be: To forego the diversions of politics and to concentrate on the job of ending the Korean War—until that job is honorably done. That job requires a personal trip to Korea. I shall make that trip. Only in that way could I learn how best to serve the American people in the cause of peace. I shall go to Korea. That is my second pledge to the American people. Carefully, then, this new Administration, unfettered by past decisions and inherited mistakes, can review every factor—military, political and psychological—to be mobilized in speeding a just peace.’ Although vague, the announcement was enough to convince large sections of the electorate that Eisenhower would bring the Korean conflict to an end.
Terms and abbreviations used in our descriptions.