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Dean Acheson (1893 – 1971)


United States Secretary of State under President Harry S Truman.
Dean Acheson
Great Britain has lost an Empire and has not yet found a role.
Acheson quotes
Acheson "never for one moment believed that the holding of office was a source of power it was an obligation of service."
Acheson
When Acheson was first joined State as Assistant Secretary for Economic Affairs, he writes the following in a section entitled "My Search for a Function"..."My official duties were summed up in the Department of State Bulletin by misleading platitudes...Both (Secretary) Hull and the President...knew me and, surely, had not asked me into the Department to perform the largely nonexistent duties defined in the Bulletin."




Acheson Dean quotes
In response, Acheson wrote to "tell a tale of large conceptions, great achievements...Its hero is the American people."
Acheson Dean
"The qualities which produce the dogged, unbeatable courage the British, personified at the time by Winston Churchill, can appear in other settings as stubbornness bordering on stupidity."
Dean Acheson quotes
Acheson's State Department "comrades...played a vital role in setting the main lines of American foreign policy for many years to come and...they may feel in their hearts that it was nobly done."
Dean Acheson
"The best environment for diplomacy is found where mutual confidence between governments exists..."
Acheson Dean quotes
"President Truman used to say that budget figures revealed far more of proposed policy than speeches."
Acheson
"In the State Department, one never lacks for helpful suggestions."
Acheson Dean
"If I have said nothing new tonight, it may well be because, in a family of nations as in families of individuals we should expect nothing more sensational than growth."
Dean Acheson
"The position of the United States had undergone a drastic change; the purpose and capabilities of the State Department had not."




Dean Acheson quotes
Vietnam was worse than immoral it was a mistake.
Dean Acheson
"I was a frustrated schoolteacher, persisting against overwhelming evidence to the contrary in the belief that the human mind could be moved by facts and reason."
Acheson quotes
"It is a mistake to interpret too literally and sweepingly the poet's admonition that things are not what they seem. Sometimes they are, and it is often essential to survival to know when they are and when they are not."
Acheson Dean
"Throughout the Near East lay rare tinder for anti-Western propaganda: a Moslem culture and history, bitter Arab nationalism galled by Jewish immigration under British protection and with massive American financial support, the remnants of a colonial status, and a sense of grievance that a vast natural resource was being extracted by foreigners under arrangements thought unfair to those living on the surface. This tinder could be, and was, lighted everywhere..."
Acheson Dean quotes
"... talk should precede, not follow, the issuance of orders."
Dean Acheson
"...the Assistant Secretary in Charge of Administration (was) a job which should be undertaken only by a saint or a fool...the House and Senate subcommittees in charge of appropriations, their chairmen, and the Comptroller General's office make this job perfect hell. Like an ill-tempered chatelaine of a medieval manor, her keys hanging from her belt, Congress parsimoniously and suspiciously doles out supplies for the shortest time, each item meticulously weighed and measured, each request at first harshly denied. Almost simultaneously yesterday's accounting goes on amid screamed accusation and denunciation of every purpose of policy."
Dean Acheson quotes
No people in history have ever survived who thought they could protect their freedom by making themselves inoffensive to their enemies.
Dean Acheson
"Only immediate assertion of leadership by the United States could prevent war in the next decade...The President and the Secretary of State must shock the country into a realization of its peril..."
Acheson Dean
a "mixture of frustration and progress is the daily grind of foreign affairs."


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