The American Presidency Project
John T. Woolley & Gerhard Peters • Santa Barbara, California return to original document
• Harry S. Truman
Remarks to a Delegation From the National Emergency Civil Rights Mobilization Conference.
January 17, 1950

YOU don't need to make that speech to me, it needs to be made to Senators and Congressmen. Every effort is being made by the executive branch of the Government to get action on these measures. I have been working at them ever since I went to Congress. I went there in 1935, and that is a long time ago.

We have made some progress. We haven't made enough. We hope to make more. The passage of the resolution by the Rules Committee of the House the other day is a blow that is serious and backwardlooking. I am doing everything possible to have that motion beaten when it comes up for consideration on the floor of the House. Every effort is being made to get a vote on these measures in the Senate. The leader of the majority and the Vice President have assured me that they will eventually get a vote, if it takes all summer.

I hope that when that vote is taken we will be in a better position to understand who our friends are, and who are not.

This is a serious situation. This civil rights program, which I have sent to the Congress on every occasion that it has been possible to send it, is one that is necessary, if we are going to maintain our leadership in the world. We can't go on not doing the things that we are asking other people to do in the United Nations.

I hope all of you will continue your hard work on the subject, and that you will make it perfectly plain to the Senators and Congressmen who represent your States and districts that action is what we want; and I think that is possibly the only way we can get action.
I thank you very much.

Citation: Harry S. Truman: "Remarks to a Delegation From the National Emergency Civil Rights Mobilization Conference.", January 17, 1950. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project.
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