Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

July 29, 1948

THE PRESIDENT. Ladies and gentlemen, I have no announcements to make. If you have any questions, I will try to answer them.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, General Bradley said he favored segregation in the lower echelons of the Army. Is that consistent with your Executive order regarding the Armed Forces?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't seen what General Bradley says, but I am informed by the Secretary for the Army that he made no such statement.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, Mr. Beyin made a statement today regarding the next approach to Moscow regarding the Berlin situation. Held out, too, his hope for settlement of the whole European problem. I wonder if you could give us any American view--

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't seen Mr. Bevin's statement, and I have no comment to make on it, or on the European situation.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, in the antipoll tax method, would you have any preference for a constitutional method, or the bill?

THE PRESIDENT. That is a matter that the Senate will have to act on, and the House. The House has already acted, I think.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, to go back to the first question, does your advocacy of equality of treatment and opportunity in the Armed Forces envision eventually the end of segregation?


[5.] Q. Mr. President, do you consider that the Senate has acted in good faith in starting its work upon the controversial--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on the Senate. The Senate stands before the country just the same as I do. They will have to take the consequences of their acts.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, would wages necessarily be frozen under your anti-inflation program?

THE PRESIDENT. Not necessarily.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with the congressional session, do you plan to ask Governor Dewey to use his influence as the leader of his party to do something about getting some action?

THE PRESIDENT. No. [Laughter]

[8.] Q. Mr. President, what persuaded you some months after the Federal Reserve Board first made its proposal about bank credit restraints, to endorse most of them?

THE PRESIDENT. The change in the situation.

Q. How is the situation changed?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, consumer credit is rapidly rising.

Q. Were you in favor of reinstitution of Regulation W?


Q. Can you do that by Executive order?


Q. You cannot do it by Executive order?

THE PRESIDENT. I cannot do it. The authority to do that was repealed.

Q. Mr. President, Mr. Wolcott1 said today that there is a rider on that amendment which would let you do it if you declared an emergency?

THE PRESIDENT. I did not see Mr. Wolcott's statement, but I think he is mistaken.

1 Representative Jesse P. Wolcott of Michigan.

Q. He read it right out of the law.

THE PRESIDENT. Did he? Well, maybe he doesn't interpret the law the same way I do. I have to take the Attorney General's rulings.

Q. Mr. President, what is Regulation W? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. It's a brake on buying on credit, and paying for it in payments.

Q. Installment buying?

THE PRESIDENT. Installment buying.

Q. What is--what would be necessary? Does that require an act of Congress, or could the Federal Reserve Board--

THE PRESIDENT. It requires authority from the Congress for the Federal Reserve Board to reinstate it, as I understand it. I will have the Attorney General go into that. If there is a congressional law and we have the power, we will use it.

Q. Why did Secretary Snyder delay his appearance before the Senate Banking and Currency Committee?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it was in his opinion proper for the Chairman of the Federal Reserve Board to appear first, which he did today.

Q. Hasn't he almost co-equal authority? The Treasury is buying bonds and so is the Federal Reserve?

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, that's a matter for the Federal Reserve and the Treasury to settle between themselves, and however they settle it, it's all right with me. They will both appear eventually.

THE PRESIDENT [responding to laughter in the front row]. What's the matter?

Q. That Regulation W got us just a little bewildered here. [More laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. I will give you a copy of it, Tony.1

1 Ernest B. Vaccaro of the Associated Press.

Q. We are just police reporters, Mr. President.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, there is a story printed today that you are going to campaign by airplane. Will you do that?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made no campaign plans whatever.

[10.] Q. Any comment on Senator Taft's speech last night?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, there seemed to be some disappointment in Congress that you did not send them a report on the Berlin situation. Do you plan such a message?


[12.] Q. Mr. President, there is wonder why you mentioned oleo legislation in the convention but not in your message.

THE PRESIDENT. I did not mention it.

Q. At the convention?

THE PRESIDENT. I did not mention it. The platform mentioned it, Miss May.2 [Laughter ]

2 Mrs. May Craig of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

Q. I thought you mentioned it?

THE PRESIDENT. I did not mention it. That is a matter that originated in Congress. It has never been on a program of mine. If Congress wants to act on it, I will be glad to sign the bill.

Q. Act on what?


Q. You would be glad to sign the bill, sir, did you say?

THE PRESIDENT. Sure, I will be glad to.

Q. Are you in favor of that bill?

THE PRESIDENT. I said I would sign it if it came up here.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and fifty-first news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 29, 1948.

Harry S Truman, The President's News Conference Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232710

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