Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

July 22, 1948

THE PRESIDENT. Ladies and gentlemen, I have no special statements to make to you this morning. I thought you might have some questions you would want to ask.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, what do you make of this situation in Berlin?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Is General Clay coming in to see you with General Marshall today?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I see General Clay and General Marshall later in the day.

Q. That is the 12:30 appointment that we have?

THE PRESIDENT. I have an appointment with General Marshall at 12:30. Yes.

Q. Do you know whether General Clay is coming in then?

THE PRESIDENT. General Clay is coming in then with General Marshall.

Q. Mr. President, will you discuss that situation in your message to Congress? 1

THE PRESIDENT. I will not. I will not.

1 see Item 165.

Q. You will not?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I will not.

Q. Does that apply to all other angles of the international situation?


[2.] Q. Mr. President, you will mention the civil rights legislation in that message, will you?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I hope to. The message is the best evidence. It will speak for itself, and it will be ready in a few days, and I will let you see it on Tuesday at 12:30.

Q. We will have a little time to work on it, won't we?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, you will have a little advance notice. The release hour will be whenever the reading starts.

Q. That is noon--12 noon, I believe?

THE PRESIDENT. I believe it's 12:30.

Q. Changed last night.

THE PRESIDENT. It has to be. They have to meet at 12 o'clock.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, there has been some speculation as to why you called an extra session. Is there anything you can say as to your reasons?

THE PRESIDENT. I set those reasons out very carefully at Philadelphia.

Q. I heard so.

THE PRESIDENT. All right--that's the answer.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment to make on Mr. Brownell's2 statement--

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

2Herbert Brownell, Jr., Republican campaign manager.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to use the TVA steamplant again--

THE PRESIDENT. The message will speak for itself. You had better wait until the message comes out, then I will tell you all about it.

Mr. Ross has been announcing to you the principal things that will be asked for. But there are some details that are still being worked out, and when the message comes out, it will be furnished to you in plenty of time so you can analyze it.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, Senator McGrath said yesterday, after seeing you, that he was going to start bringing in groups of party leaders to confer with you, and I notice on the calling list today that there is no such group on there.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that is going to be started immediately. There will be some of them in to see me today, I think.

Q. Would that include Mr. Philip Murray, who is on the calling list?

THE PRESIDENT. No, it would not. They are political leaders that will come to see me, and not labor leaders.

Q. Mr. President, that will include some Southern leaders in there, will it?

THE PRESIDENT. I imagine it will. McGrath will make out the lists. He is the party chairman.

[7.] Q. Have you decided on a Secretary of Labor yet, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. I will announce it to you just as soon as I do decide.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think of the new ticket in the South--the fourth party ticket?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, would you say what you estimate the chances for world peace are at this time?

THE PRESIDENT. I think they are good. In fact, I think they are excellent. General Marshall made a statement .on that yesterday, in which we are in complete agreement.1

1 Secretary of state Marshall's statement, released to the press on July 21, follows: "I can merely say at this time that our position I think is well understood. We will not be coerced or intimidated in any way in our procedures under the rights and responsibilities that we have in Berlin and generally in .Germany. At the same time we will proceed to Invoke every possible resource of negotiation and diplomatic procedure to reach an acceptable solution to avoid the tragedy of war for the world. But I repeat again, we are not going to be coerced."

[10.] Q. How long do you think the special session will last--have you any idea?

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, that is up to the Congress. They can make it as long or as short as they choose. They are in complete control of that.

Q. Do you plan, while the special session is meeting, to call attention to their shortcomings or achievements--

THE PRESIDENT. I shall ask the Congress to follow out the usual program that is in every message, and that is all. It will be in the message.

Q. Yes, but I mean while the Congress is in session, if it doesn't measure up to what you are hoping for?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't tell about that until they get through.

Q. Are you going to call in some of your Democratic leaders, like Rayburn and Barkley, to plan strategy?

THE PRESIDENT. I will probably consult with the Democratic leaders in the Congress.

Q. You have no immediate plans to call them in now?


Q. Before you read your message?


Q. Did you consult with anybody on the special session?


Q. Mr. President, do you think this session could properly be called a "rump" session?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I can't answer that question. That is up to Congress. [Laughter ]

[11.] Q. When you spoke of General Marshall's statement yesterday, did you have in mind, sir, his statement that we will exhaust every resource of diplomacy in seeking a solution of the Berlin situation?


[12.] Q. Mr. President, what agency do you have in mind for administering the price controls and the--

THE PRESIDENT. That will be set out in the message.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, how do you feel about the Federal financing of public housing for low-income groups?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think I have been on record 5 or 6 or 7 different times on that. Why don't you read the messages--letters and messages I sent on the subject to the Congress? That's all you need to know.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, will you ask for wage controls as well as price controls?

THE PRESIDENT. The message will speak for itself on that subject. It isn't finished yet.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, will you do any campaigning while Congress is in joint session?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I will not.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, if they adjourn without doing anything on that program, is there any chance you would call them back again during the fall?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that question.

Q. Then may I ask if there is any significance to those four-leaf clovers on your desk?

THE PRESIDENT. No, they just bring luck. Somebody sent them to me. [Laughter]

[17.] Q. Mr. President, some of the Republicans are talking about a resolution to restore the country's gold standard as a means of combating inflation. What do you think about that?

THE PRESIDENT. The country has been on the gold standard all the time. We own more gold than any other government in the history of the world.

Q. I can't turn in a dollar for it, though, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. No, you can't; but then your dollar is backed by that gold backing. That's what makes it good.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, you have had to delay several of your prospective trips to North Carolina. Do you expect to go during this campaign?

THE PRESIDENT. I have it under consideration.

Q. On going to North Carolina?


[19.] Q. Mr. President, the Communists arrested in New York claim that the administration deliberately staged their arrests to smear their party. Would you comment on that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I knew nothing about that procedure until I saw it in the paper.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, have you made any plans to go to New York and New England yet in the campaign?

THE PRESIDENT. I will go to New York on the 31st of July to review the Air Corps. That is not a political trip, however. Mr. Dewey will be there, too. [Laughter]

Q. Do you plan to tour the South during the campaign?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we will have to set that out when the campaign plans have been made. They haven't been made yet.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, what is your reference to the chances of peace being good, the reference to the peacemaking at the close of the last war, or to avoidance of the opening of the--

THE PRESIDENT. I think the chances of world peace are good. They are as good as they have ever been. I am sure that we will get world peace eventually.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, you say that you would set out in your message what agency you had in mind for administering price controls and rationing. Does that mean you are going to recommend price control--

THE PRESIDENT. The message will speak for itself. You asked the question, and I say the message would speak for itself.

Q. Mr. President, would you welcome, in addition, debate on international questions during the special session?

THE PRESIDENT. That is up to the Congress. I don't control that.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and fiftieth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 10:30 a.m., on Thursday, July 22, 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/232703

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