THE BUDGET: Priority: Defense

In formal speeches and offhand comments, the Administration's spokesmen have well telegraphed the direction of federal spending for fiscal 1959. The direction: up. The big item: $39 billion to $40 billion for defense, a $2 billion or so increase from fiscal 1958. Last week the Administration also telegraphed its overall policy for fiscal 1959: defense needs will shape the size of the budget, not vice versa.

Said Treasury Secretary Robert B. Anderson in an unmistakable turnabout from his predecessor George Humphrey: "Maintaining a balanced budget is of great importance to our national welfare and so also is keeping our expenditures...

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