Transcript

Mr Truman's speech to Congress on March 12th has been hailed by the Belgian press … as a major event. The approval of the Catholic Conservative newspapers was almost unanimous although it was tempered by … the fear that a war between the United States of America and the Union of Socialist Soviet Republics had been brought one step nearer …

Papers of all shades of opinion echoed the view that American economic imperialism was on the march to fill the vacuum caused by British economic and strategic withdrawals. Le Soir (Independent) reproduced the comment of its London correspondent that Englishmen were not sorry to see the Americans take their place although their desire for friendship with Russia remained strong. La Libre Belgique (Catholic) remarked that American imperialism was no worse - indeed it was rather less objectionable - than the Russian brand in Eastern Europe.

The Socialist press was divided on the subject and showed signs of discomfort, Le Peuple, while admitting that an optimistic view might be justified, did not disguise its fear that "Mr, Truman's brutal outspokenness might hasten the division of the world into two blocs".

The Flemish Socialist daily Vooruit was outspoken in its condemnation of the American action which, it maintained, had not been dictated by true democratic motives but by dollar diplomacy …

The Communist press stigmatised the speech as "a brutal move of American imperialism". Greece and Turkey, suggested De Roode Vaan, would be turned into American military bases …