Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

November 06, 1947

THE PRESIDENT. Ladies and gentlemen of the press, I have no particular announcements to make this morning, but I thought since we had to miss last week I had better let you in and you might have some questions on your mind.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, have you had a chance to analyze the election returns? Do you see a trend, perhaps ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't analyzed the election returns. One thing I was happy to see, though, was the large turnout at the various elections. It shows the people are learning their responsibilities as citizens, and that their interest in free government rests in the ballot box. It was a big turnout in nearly all these elections. I haven't analyzed the situation for trends. Of course, I was very happy over the Kentucky election! 1

1 Gubernatorial election in which the Democratic candidate, Representative Earle C. Clements, defeated the Attorney General of Kentucky, Eldon S. Dummit.

Q. Mr. President, do you believe a large turnout will help the Democrats next year?

THE PRESIDENT. I think it will help those who like free government.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, the American Society of Newspaper Editors sent you a resolution objecting to proposals of using military information secrecy procedures in civilian departments. Have you taken any action on that at all ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no reason to take any action, for no such thing has ever been put up to me. I think it is a very bad habit to get hold of fragments of preliminary reports which are likely to come up to the President, and then set up a strawman and knock him down. I have to pass on that thing if it ever comes to me. It never has yet.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, have you had a chance, or have you seen that report of Representative Auchincloss on the form of government--

THE PRESIDENT. Only what I saw in the paper. I haven't seen the report.

Q. You wouldn't like to say anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't comment on it, because I am not well enough informed.

[4.] Q. May I ask you another question? What happens to the big report of the civil rights ? Does it stay here, or do you send that to Congress ?

THE PRESIDENT. That report is made to me, and that report can be used as a basis for a part of the Message on the State of the Union, which of course in the long run will be sent to the Congress.

Q. In other words, you will use it as a part of your message ?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't say that. I said it could be used as a foundation for part of the message--some of it, maybe. I haven't read it carefully yet.

Q. Aside from that, what do you think of it, Mr. President ?

THE PRESIDENT. I think it's a good report. I have already made that comment.

Q. I believe the last statement we had was just at the time you received the report.

THE PRESIDENT. That's right, but I hadn't read it even then.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, Congressman Doughton has been quoted that you will veto the tax bill this session. Is he correct in that?

THE PRESIDENT. I will take care of that situation when it comes up to me.

Q. Do you intend to propose any sort of tax changes.--

THE PRESIDENT. I will let you know about that when I send down the Message on the State of the Union.

Q. You are referring to this special session message, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. No I am not. The special session is called for two specific purposes, which has been very clear up to date. As far as my message is concerned, it will be confined to those two specific things.

Q. This is as far as your message is concerned?

THE PRESIDENT. The special session. It will be confined to the two things that I have already announced that the session is called for.

Q. Can you tell us anything more concrete as to what you might recommend on inflation?

THE PRESIDENT. No I can't. I will let you have that when I send the message down. I don't want to read that message to you here now, it wouldn't do the Congress any good. [Laughter]

[6.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think of the wheat price-fixing plan that Tom Campbell said he put up to you yesterday?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, we just discussed it incidentally. He said that the only way to get wheat to market would be to put a ceiling on the price of wheat, then the farmers would all turn it loose. That was his opinion, and he expressed it to me.

Q. A ceiling of 50 cents a bushel above the present market price

THE PRESIDENT. He didn't tell me what price he had in view.

Q. He told us $3.50, Mr. President. Did he tell you?

THE PRESIDENT. He did not discuss prices with me.

Q. Did he tell you, Mr. President, that he was holding back 100,000 bushels?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh yes, he said he had 600,000 bushels, and like every farmer he wanted to get as much for it as he could. I don't blame him for that.

Q. Mr. President, the Agriculture Department has estimated that about all the hundred million bushels of grain that Mr. Luckman was asked to conserve may now have been saved, because of less feeding to cattle than expected. In view of that, do you anticipate Mr. Luckman's resignation fairly soon ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I do not. Mr. Luckman made a report to me just recently, and I think when you read that report 1 you will be very happy. I was very happy over the success that he has been having with this effort. He did a good job.

1 The "Interim Report to the President From the Citizens Food Committee" is dated October 31, 1947 (37 pp., processed).

[7.] Q. Mr. President, another of the poll checks show that a lot of voters, average citizens, don't understand the form of the reconstruction problem too well. I wonder if, after your message to Congress, if you would have a radio talk to them?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, we have been working on a plan to get the matter before the country in as simple a manner as possible so that everybody can understand it. It has been a tremendous job to get that report ready. It required the meeting of the 16 nations in Europe. It required the Krug survey of our own resources. It required the Harriman survey, which has not yet reached me, but will tomorrow, I imagine. And it required the report of the Economic Advisers, and all those things have to be coordinated and put to work. It is a tremendous job. And we must be patient. We must not take a single report and say that that is the Marshall plan. When we get that worked out and coordinated, it will be sent up to Congress in the form of a message, and it will be explained specifically in all its ramifications as clearly as we can possibly explain it.

Q. That will be a separate message on the Marshall plan to the Congress ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I hope--I have that under consideration.

Q. Mr. President, do you anticipate any meeting with Secretary Marshall the latter part of this week, or over the weekend, on this problem?

THE PRESIDENT. I meet with Secretary Marshall three times a week all the time, when he is here. We discuss all subjects in which he is interested and in which I am interested.

Q. Mr. President, would this message on the Marshall plan go to the regular session of the Congress ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I will have to tell you more about that when we get together. Not in shape yet even to write the message on. Whenever we get all those things coordinated, when we get the message ready, I will send it to the Congress--as soon as I can get it ready. I don't know whether that will be to the regular session or the special session.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, has the Chairman of the CAB, Mr. Landis, offered you his resignation?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of. He hasn't offered it to me.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, could you indicate whether you consider inflation or foreign aid to be the priority subject of the special session ?

THE PRESIDENT. They run side by side.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to nominate the FCC Chairman before the special session is over?

THE PRESIDENT. I hadn't thought about it. We have given that matter some consideration. Trying to find the proper man. Whenever we get him, I will announce him to you.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the reports that the former opposition Polish leader, Mr. Mikolajczyk, is coming to the United States ?

THE PRESIDENT. All I know about that is what I have seen in the paper. And I noticed this morning that it had been announced that he has no visa to come to this country. All I know is what I got out of the paper.

[12.] Q. I don't want to ask you a leading question, but have you a choice of running mate yet ?

THE PRESIDENT. What's that?

Q. Have you a choice of running mate yet?

THE PRESIDENT. Tony,1 that's a leading question, and I have no comment I [Laughter]

1 Ernest B. Vaccaro of the Associated Press.

Q. Mr. President, knowing--I know this may be a leading question


Q. -- but most of your recent callers who have come in to invite you to things next September and October, have come out looking pretty dismayed, saying that you told them that you would be very busy at that period ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't think I have ever been here in the White House when I haven't been as busy as I could be. Even on the so-called vacations, I work just as hard as if I were sitting at this desk.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, which do you expect Congress to act on first, the interim proposal or anti-inflation?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't got a crystal ball. [Laughter] You will have to talk to Congress about that. I want them to act on interim aid first. They will be told that very plainly in the message. As I say, I can't prophesy what the Congress will do. I am sure, though, that they will do the right thing.

[14.] Q. Do you plan to resubmit any nominations that have been made to the National Labor Relations Board at the special session?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't--I didn't understand the question ?

Q. Mr. Denham, Mr. Gray, Mr. Murdock--do you plan to resubmit their names to the Senate?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know. Were they approved the last time or not? I can't remember.

Q. They were recess appointments.

THE PRESIDENT. Were they recess appointments ? We have that under consideration. Whenever we arrive at the proper conclusion on that, we will take action on it.

Q. That is the study of the situation on law and precedents, I believe, that Charlie 1 told us about the other day. That has not been completed yet?

THE PRESIDENT. That study hasn't been completed yet.

1 Charles G. Ross, Secretary to the President.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, does your answer to those previous questions mean that the special message to Congress will be concerned primarily with the interim aid program and not with the so-called Marshall plan as a whole?

THE PRESIDENT, It will be--the Congress was called for the purpose of going into the interim aid plan and for the control of prices and inflation in this country. They go side by side.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the request of the grain exchanges for an investigation?

THE PRESIDENT. NO. I have no comment.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, have you seen any good movies lately?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I never get a chance to see a movie unless they bring one to the White House, and about the only thing I see are news reels. I try to go when I am not in them. [Laughter]

[18.] Q. Mr. President, I want to clear up this impression I have got, possibly, that you are not going to submit anything on the long-range Marshall plan-

THE PRESIDENT. No, I didn't say that. I said whenever we are ready we would submit it. It takes a lot of time to get it ready.

Q. But that will be separate

THE PRESIDENT. That is a separate proposition entirely, and the committees will commence meeting on this thing on the 10th, and they will begin hearings on the interim aid program on the 10th of November; and they will ask me--be at liberty to ask any questions they want, and we will try to give them all the information we have.

Q. Mr. President, does your comment that these things go side by side mean that you are

THE PRESIDENT. I think they are equally important. I want to make it perfectly plain that I think they are equally important. One depends on the other, unless--no use making appropriations of money for a hundred million bushels of wheat if it won't buy more than 25 million bushels.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, have you any comment on the hearings of the House Committee on Un-American Activities?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Any comment on its actions when you were a member of the committee when it was being investigated ?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I think that will take care of itself.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and twenty-sixth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 10:35 a.m. on Thursday, November 6, 1947.

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/232496

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