Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

February 28, 1947

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I have no particular announcements to make to you today except that at--a little later there will be a release for morning papers of a report on the food-from the food board--the Cabinet food committee.

Any questions?

[2.] Q. Mr. President, in your 1947 budget and in the fiscal 1948 are there sufficient funds provided to carry out your recommendations?

THE PRESIDENT. NO, there are not.

Q. How much would you have to have?

THE PRESIDENT. The $350 million that was asked for to continue the work that had been carried out by the letter that is contained in this year's budget.

Q. That's right.

THE PRESIDENT. And I can't remember what the figure is.

Q. 725 in the Army budget. THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

Q. But there is no breakdown of that 725 in the Army budget, and that is for all the occupied areas.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, and we haven't heard--we are making a survey in the Far East now, and I can't give you any accurate data on that until the Far East survey comes in. I think Mr. Hoover made a good report, and that he did a good job on that.

Q. Now, as I understand the 350 million, that was for the liberated countries, not for Germany alone?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

Q. And have you any idea how much you will require to carry our Mr. Hoover's recommendations for the current year?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that until we have the whole picture, then we will make a survey of it and as soon as--

Q. That goes for fiscal 1948 as well?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right--that's right.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, can you make any comment on the situation in Greece as it is affected by the British--general British economic setup?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, Mr. Hoover on the Hill this morning advocated that the relief to the liberated countries be paid back by those countries, which was not in your message that went to the Hill.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I haven't seen Mr. Hoover's testimony, and until I have read the record, I can't comment on it.

Q. It's in the report, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. HOW'S that?

Q. That recommendation is in the report.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, but that does not--the report does not refer to any 350 million.

Q. No sir.

THE PRESIDENT. That report is for food for enemy countries. I know that Mr. Hoover recommended that it might be made a charge against the future income of that country so that it could be paid back. There is nothing wrong with that.

Q. That was in your message.

THE PRESIDENT. Sure.

Q. Will the Army distribute the 350 million? Is that planned? Or might it be done by some United Nations organization?

THE PRESIDENT. We have not yet made up the--have not decided yet how that will be done. I'll find out whether they are going to get it or not before we make any arrangements.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, could we pursue the subject of Greece a little further? There are reports from London today--supposed to come from a Foreign Office spokesman-to the effect that the British Government has asked this Government to aid either financially in Greece or to take over the occupation of Greece itself.

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, is there any foundation in that report that has been broadcast

THE PRESIDENT. There is no comment on that report.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, has the Potsdam agreement still--are we still supposed to be

THE PRESIDENT. I stand by the Potsdam agreement.

[8.] Q. Mr. Hoover advocated also this morning

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, I can't comment on anything Mr. Hoover said until I see the record.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, are you planning any new assignment for Jimmy Byrnes?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at the present.

Q. How about the near future ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have no comment on that now. If a place comes along where Mr. Byrnes can be used, and he is willing to do it, of course I will make use of him. I always have.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, this is a repeater from last week, but Dr. Nourse seems to be talking to some interested people on the question of export controls. An earlier message of yours I believe, sir, said you would make recommendations to Congress on that subject. Do you plan such recommendations in the near future ?

THE PRESIDENT. We will have recommendations on that. I don't know how "near future" it will be, but when it is necessary we will make the recommendations.

Q- Does it expire, sir, on June 30th?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, do you care to comment on that conference that you had yesterday with the congressional leaders?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, could you tell us now anything about the draft? They have been putting that off for some weeks.

THE PRESIDENT. I will have a message on the draft sent down very shortly. As soon as that is ready, why I will see that you get it.

Q. Is that Selective Service or universal training?

THE PRESIDENT. Selective Service.

[13.] Q. Can you give us any clue as to whether we are going to continue the draft or not?

THE PRESIDENT. I will let the message speak for itself.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, could we have a clue as to who the four Republicans are you don't like?

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, I didn't know anything about that. That's the first time I ever heard that, Miss May.1 [Laughter]

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

Q. You are quoted as having said at the last congressional reception that there are only four you didn't like.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't remember that comment. I don't remember that comment.

Q. Would it be only four, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I wouldn't like to limit it to four. [Laughter]

Q. How about Democrats, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, let's not comment on the Democrats. I am not commenting on the Republicans, you understand. And those four don't necessarily have to be in Washington, Mrs. Craig.

Q. Oh, I understood they were there.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I say I am not limiting the four to Washington, so you can go way back in my political career and figure that out.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, are you asking Mr. Pauley to take another job in the Administration, now that you have accepted his resignation?

THE PRESIDENT. NO, I am not.

Q. You are not?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not offered him another job.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, is Congressman Tarver of Georgia being considered for the Court of Claims?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Tarver has been recommended by the Georgia delegation.

Q. And you--

THE PRESIDENT. I have him under consideration.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, any likelihood of an early appointment to fill the vacancy on the Federal Communications Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think we will have that appointment ready to send down very shortly now. I will let you know what it is when I make up my mind.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, the Senate Committee today rejected the nomination of Mr. Clapp to the TVA.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have been--I was in the Senate for 10 years and I have seen that happen on several occasions, and the member was still approved by the Senate. Mr. Clapp is a career public servant, and a good one, and he contributed as much as anybody else to the success of TVA; and I think that he is 'perfectly fitted for the job, and I shall stay behind him to the finish, just as I am doing with Mr. Lilienthal.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, have you had any further word from Mr. Bevin since the White House statement concerning his public1--

THE PRESIDENT. I never did have any word from Mr. Bevin.

1 See Item 41.

Q. You don't expect-

THE PRESIDENT. Don't expect any. [Laughter]

Q. Any personal comment you would like, Mr. President, to add to the White House statement in regard to Mr. Bevin's

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, going back for a moment to that draft situation, is it your opinion that we should continue the mechanics of Selective Service?

THE PRESIDENT. I shall take that up in the message, and when the message is ready, I will furnish you with a copy that covers the whole thing.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, is any increase in the export-import loan authority anticipated--contemplated ?

THE PRESIDENT. If it becomes necessary to ask for that increase, we will ask for it. We haven't considered it immediately.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, this is on a light note, but I notice in your recommendations for repeal of the laws that you propose the repeal of the dollar-a-year-men law.

THE PRESIDENT. Will you ask that question again, I didn't hear--

Q. Your bill--you submitted--the laws that you submitted for repeal--the revision-you proposed to repeal the law permitting employment of dollar-a-year men. I just wondered what was behind that, if anything?

THE PRESIDENT. Nothing whatever. Probably.-

Q. Retrenchment?

THE PRESIDENT. Just--it might be--it might be retrenchment. I don't remember that detail in the recommendations. There was nothing sinister about it at all. The dollar-a-year men made a great contribution to the war effort, which nobody knows better than I do.

[23.] Q. Mr. President, you have been owing Sumner Pike 50 cents ever since 1940. He never got paid. [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. The Federal Government owes me 66 cents for a dollar-a-year job which I never did get! [More laughter]

[24.] Q. Mr. President, are you going to appoint John McCloy president of the World Bank?

THE PRESIDENT. I think John McCloy--I don't appoint him--

Q. I mean, are you going--

THE PRESIDENT. I want him to be appointed.

Q. You will?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. Or have you?

THE PRESIDENT, I have.

[25.] Q. Mr. President, you have been invited to visit Salem College, North Carolina, at some time on your way back from Mexico. Will you have time for that?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think I will have a chance to stop there. I hope to pay that visit there some day, though.

[26.] Q. Mr. President, have you received an invitation from Canada yet?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes I have.

Q. Are you going?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have it under consideration. I never can make a firm appointment until just a short time before I find I can get away. I would like very much to go.

Q. When will that be, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Some time in the--next summer.

Q. What is the occasion? Any particular occasion?

THE PRESIDENT. No particular occasion--just a friendly visit.

[27.] Q. Mr. President, any significance in the resignation of Mr. Sam O'Neal?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of.

[28.] Q. Mr. President, could you give us any notion of what is going to happen to rent control, in view of the Senate Committee

THE PRESIDENT. I have, I think

Q.--and the OPA?

THE PRESIDENT.--on four different occasions I have stated my position on rent control, and it hasn't changed.

Q. You still feel hopeful about OPA's survival ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have nothing to say on that. I can tell you about that when Congress acts.

Q. Mr. President, in that connection, there was a story yesterday that you were considering the deal offered by Senator Hawkes to continue a 50-percent increase in rents?

THE PRESIDENT. I make no deals. When the bills come up here for consideration, I take them on their merits. They are not trade on deals.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's ninety-ninth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 o'clock on Friday afternoon, February 28, 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/232754

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