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Excerpts from the Press Conference

September 14, 1937

THE PRESIDENT: Anticipating what you are going to ask and in order to save time (laughter), I know approximately what is on your minds and I want to be helpful if I can. Therefore I am going to give you this statement for direct quotation. Get out your pencils. (Reading) "I know only what I have read in the newspapers. I know that the stories are appearing serially"—not seriously, I said "serially"—"and their publication is not complete. Mr. Justice Black is in Europe where, undoubtedly, he cannot get the full text of these articles. Until such time as he returns, there is no further comment to be made."

That is all.

Q. Will you read the whole thing again, sir?

THE PRESIDENT: "I know only what I have read in the newspapers. I know that the stories are appearing serially and their publication is not complete. Mr. Justice Black is in Europe where, undoubtedly, he cannot get the full text of these articles. Until such time as he returns, there is no further comment to be made."

Q. Has Mr. Justice Black been communicated with by you or any member of your Administration?

THE PRESIDENT; No.

Q. You said, "No"?

THE PRESIDENT: No; I said, "No."

Q. Have you any information as to the time of his return?

THE PRESIDENT: No.

Q. Prior to the appointment of former Senator Black, had you received any information from any source as to his Klan membership?

THE PRESIDENT: No.

Q. May we ask, if it turns out that he is a member—

THE PRESIDENT: That is an "if" question.

Q. Did the Department of Justice make the usual investigation that they do with respect to members of the judiciary as to Mr. Justice Black?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know. . . .

Q. Mr. President, can you tell us anything about your talk with Mr. Hull and Mr. Kennedy today?

THE PRESIDENT: I think we will probably have something—I don't know whether you will get it tonight or tomorrow-in regard to shipping headed for the Far East. I cannot give you anything because it is not written out yet.

Q. Headed toward the Far East?

THE PRESIDENT: I don't know whether it will be ready tonight or whether you will have to wait until tomorrow.

Q. Will that apply particularly to the steamer Wichita?

THE PRESIDENT: No, it will be general.

Q. Can you tell us anything about the Wichita which is Government owned?

THE PRESIDENT: I think the Wichita at the present time is proceeding from one American port to another.

Q. Are you still considering the application of the Neutrality Act?

THE PRESIDENT: That is always under consideration and has been for weeks.

Q. To get back to the Black situation, did the Senate discharge its full responsibility?

THE PRESIDENT: (Reading) "Until such time as he returns, there is no further comment to be made."

Q. That seems to be a hint that there may be a further statement after he returns.

THE PRESIDENT: No, don't write yourself out on a limb.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Excerpts from the Press Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/208735

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