Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President Upon Signing the Veterans' Priority Bill for Surplus Property.

May 03, 1946

THE VETERANS' PRIORITY BILL for surplus property (S. 1757), which I have signed today, gives priority to veterans for the purchase of surplus property second only to the priority exercised by Federal agencies. This bill also directs the War Assets Administrator to set aside selected types of surplus property particularly in demand by veterans, for exclusive distribution to them for their personal use, as well as for their business, agricultural, or professional enterprises.

What helps the veteran helps the Nation. If by means of this law we can help the veteran to establish himself in a business or profession, assist him to maintain his technical skills, or contribute to his personal well-being and the health and comfort of his family, the country as a whole will be benefited.

It is only fair to warn the veterans, however, that many of them who will want to purchase items under this law are going to be disappointed. Items of surplus property being set aside for veterans are precisely those items in heaviest demand. They are not available in surplus in sufficient quantities to satisfy more than a small proportion of prospective veteran purchasers who have applied for them. Veterans will have the chance to take all of these surplus items But individual veterans may not get certain items they want, or the quantities they want.

No system of Government retail outlets selling surplus property direct to the veterans is contemplated. The Congress has made it clear that such action was not intended. However, the War Assets Administrator will, under the terms of the law, compile and widely publicize information as to the types and quantities of surplus property which has or will become available, for exclusive disposal to veterans in accordance with the provisions of the measure.

The list of critical items for exclusive disposal to veterans is as follows:


Automotive vehicles.--Passenger cars (used), passenger cars (new).

Trucks.--Jeeps, all trucks 2 1/2 ton or less.

Motorcycles, scooters.

Tractors.--D4 and R4 Caterpillar--36--45

Tractors.--D4 and R4 Caterpillar--36-45 DBHP or equal, D7 Caterpillar--61-90 DBHP or equal, D8 Caterpillar--91-140 DBHP or equal, TD9 International--36-45 DBHP or equal, TD14 International-46-60 DBHP or equal, TD6 International-46-60 DBHP or equal.

Construction, mining and excavating machinery. Tractor-type scrapers, air compressors, batching plants, crushing and screening plants, ditching machines, cranes, shovels and draglines.

Agricultural machinery.--Land levelers, plows.

Medical, surgical and dental apparatus and equipment.--Major operating tables, operating lamps, field X-ray units, diathermy machines, dental units, dental chairs, dental cabinets.


Note: As enacted, S. 1757 is Public Law 375, 79th Congress (60 Stat. 168).

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President Upon Signing the Veterans' Priority Bill for Surplus Property. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232864

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