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Statement by the President Upon Approving the Farmers' Home Administration Act.

August 14, 1946

I HAVE TODAY approved H.R. 5991, the Farmers' Home Administration Act of 1946. However, I feel compelled to call attention to a provision of that measure which causes me grave concern.

Section 9 of the Act provides that "Any conveyance of real estate by the Government or any Government agency under this Act shall include all mineral rights." I do not concur with the objectives of this provision.

It is very important to the best interests of the Nation that fissionable materials in lands now under Federal ownership be reserved for the control and use of the United States. Section 5(b)(7) of the Atomic Energy Act of 1946 (Public Law 585, 79th Congress) provides for such reservations in disposals of public lands. Section 2 of Executive Order 9701 provides for such reservations in disposals of acquired lands.

It is equally important that the Government reserve ownership of oil, gas and other minerals critical to the national defense and economy. Many of these minerals are both scarce and of vital importance to the country. Where the Government is disposing of lands which may contain these minerals, it should safeguard their prudent development by a reservation of mineral rights.

I have signed H.R. 5991 because of the great desirability of streamlining the administration of the Government's agricultural credit and related activities. In the future, however, I shall be extremely reluctant to approve legislation containing clauses which threaten to whittle away governmentally owned mineral resources.

It is my hope that at its next session the Congress will take speedy action to repeal section 9 of this Act, together with the similar provision in section 4 of Public Law 563 of the 79th Congress, which I reluctantly approved on July 30, 1946, for like reasons.

Note: The Farmers' Home Administration Act of 1946 is Public Law 731, 79th Congress (60 Stat. 1062).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Approving the Farmers' Home Administration Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232035

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