Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

January 23, 1947

THE PRESIDENT. Well, gentlemen, I have no announcements to make, so I am open for questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, in the light of changing economic conditions, do you think you will favor any change in rent controls in the near future, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. They're- Congress is making an investigation of that situation now, and it's their move to act upon it.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, would you give us any information on your talk with Secretary Marshall today ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. It was the usual conversation with the Secretary of State, and covered a number of things.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can say now about the status of the congressional cooperation plan?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it's in effect and working right along.

Q. Right along? I wondered how it was after yesterday's voting, and so forth?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know what you refer to.

Q. The voting by which the Republicans voted to continue the special investigation--

THE PRESIDENT. Oh well, that's a matter for the Senate itself to decide upon, and I did not have a hand in that at all.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, Senators Brewstep and White have suggested the appointment of Marion Martin to the Federal Communications Commission

THE PRESIDENT. I have her under consideration. I will tell you about that when I get ready to make the appointment.

Q. Mr. President, is there anyone else under consideration?

THE PRESIDENT. A lot of people under consideration.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to say what the number of things were that you discussed with Secretary Marshall?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, yes, I will be glad to tell you what they were. We discussed China. We discussed South America. We discussed Germany. We discussed Palestine, and anything else around the world that happened to come by us. [Laughter]

Q. Has he decided, Mr. President, whether he will go to Moscow?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not discussed that matter with him as yet.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, in an interview last week with Dr. Grau in Havana, he told me that General Damera, head of the army for Cuba, had been up here talking to the chiefs of the Army, about a joint plan for hemispheric defense against communism.

THE PRESIDENT. I know nothing about it-I know nothing about it. That's the first I've heard of it.

Q. He said he was up here for that purpose.

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't talk to him. I didn't even know he was in the country.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, on rent control, is your attitude still as it was when last previously expressed?

THE PRESIDENT. I think we ought to hold the line on rent control, but of course the Congress will have to act on that.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, reports from Mexico City say that President Aleman may come up here to confer with you. Can you say anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. I have invited him to pay a visit to the President of the United States, and I hope he accepts.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, in your Economic Message you indicated you thought it might be a propitious time for reducing prices. I notice that Ford has reduced prices but some have increased them. Have you any comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. I am very happy that Mr. Ford in his statement says that he was following out the suggestion that I made in the message, and I appreciate it very highly. I think he made a proper move, and I hope a lot more people will do the same thing.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, did you see in advance the speech that John Foster Dulles made?

THE PRESIDENT. NO, Of course not.

Q. Did you see him in advance, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I did not.

Q. You did not discuss the speech?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I never discussed the speech. He is a free agent. [Laughter]

[11.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment on Mr. May's indictment?

THE PRESIDENT. I did not know he was indicted, and I have no comment.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, have you heard anything from the RFC on the Lustron prefabricated homes ?

THE PRESIDENT. NO, I haven't.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, in your message to Congress you said you would submit recommendations for the elimination of emergency laws. Are they prepared yet?

THE PRESIDENT. They are in the course of preparation and will be submitted as soon as ready.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, we understand from the Governor General of Puerto Rico that he told you of their appeal for aid for Puerto Rico on account of the high basic prices

THE PRESIDENT. We discussed the whole Puerto Rican situation when he was in here this morning. We shall discuss it again at the Cabinet meeting tomorrow, in an effort to help the Puerto Ricans to help themselves.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, has Secretary Marshall agreed on any changes in personnel in the State Department?

THE PRESIDENT. We haven't. General Marshall has asked the top-ranking personages in the State Department to stay.

Q. Including the Assistant Secretaries?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know anything about that. You had better ask General Marshall. He has a free hand over there.

Q. Mr. President, the New York Times said this morning that you had directed General Marshall to make an immediate investigation of the differences between Mr. Braden and Mr. Messersmith. Is that correct ?

THE PRESIDENT. The matter was discussed with General Marshall.

Q. Can you tell us anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

Q. Mr. President, is Senator Mead under consideration for a diplomatic post?

THE PRESIDENT, NO, he is not.

Q. Mr. President, would you tell us something about your meeting with Assistant Secretary Braden last Friday ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, he was--it was the customary meeting with an Assistant Secretary of State who requested to see the President. We discussed the things in which he was interested.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, has the Postmaster General reported to you since

THE PRESIDENT. Yes he has. I had a fine interview with Mr. Hannegan the day he got back here; and he looks fine.

Q. Is he going to stay on?

THE PRESIDENT. I urged him to stay.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, can you say anything about any special subjects which you and President Aleman would discuss?

THE PRESIDENT, That's a matter for us to agree on when the President comes up here; and I am not expected to tell the President of Mexico what he wants to talk to me about. [Laughter]

[18.] Q. Mr. President, was that Mr. Hannegan's Cabinet post, or both things?

THE PRESIDENT. Both.

Q. Mr. President, you said you urged him to stay. Do you mean that he suggested that he leave?

THE PRESIDENT. I urged him to stay on as National Chairman. I thought he was a good one, and I still think so.

Q. Do you think he will be able to, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I hope he will. I can't answer that question until it is--his health situation is finally worked out, as it has further to go before complete recovery.

Q. What about the Postmaster Generalship? Do you want him to stay on?

THE PRESIDENT. I sure do.

Q. Mr. President, anybody else around here unhealthy?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know. I am not, Miss May1 [Laughter] They have a great--it's a great strain on people that are around the White House, and in more ways than one it seems to have a worse effect on all of them than it does on the President himself, from a physical standpoint.

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

[19.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to give us your views on an early conference of the American Republics in Rio?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not discussed that with General Marshall as yet. I will give you my views as soon as I have had a chance to discuss it with him.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, last week you talked with Mr. De Gasperi, who has been given a mandate to appoint a new Italian Government. Have you any comment on that, sir ?

THE PRESIDENT. NO I haven't.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, getting back to the rent control thing, we get constant rumors that you do plan to make some adjustments in rent

THE PRESIDENT. That's the reason for the investigation in the committees of Congress. That's a matter that the Congress will have to pass upon.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, I just wanted to get clear on this Hannegan thing, had he asked you to give up--that he was--he would like to give up either one or both of his offices ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. There have been so many rumors and speculations around the United States as to whether he was going to quit or not, and so the first thing I told him when he came in the door was that "I want you to stay as Chairman and Postmaster General." And that is as far as the conversation went.

Q. Is that here?

THE PRESIDENT. Right here in this chair. [Laughter]

Q. What did he say ?

THE PRESIDENT. He was very much pleased and he said he would give me his answer as soon as he was sure that his health was all right.

[23.] Q. Mr. President, there has been some question about your visit to the National Theatre last night.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes?

Q. The Committee on Racial Democracy saying that Jim Crow--

THE PRESIDENT. I saw it in the paper for the first time. First time I heard of it, and I didn't know it was being picketed. I wanted to see that show. I wanted to see that for 20 years, so I went down there and saw it. [Laughter]

Q. The first time you have seen "Blossom Time"?

THE PRESIDENT. That's the first time I have seen "Blossom Time."

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's ninety-fifth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 o'clock on Thursday afternoon, January 23, 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/232024

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