Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

December 11, 1947

THE PRESIDENT. I have no special announcements to make this morning. I thought maybe you might like to ask me some questions that I might be able to answer.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, last August, sometime during the summer, you were asked about the transfer of the Unemployment Service and the Unemployment Compensation Service to the Labor Department, and you said you had been thinking about it, but hadn't made up your mind. I wonder have you made up your mind?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made up my mind, and I am going to suggest in the reorganization plan after the first of the year, that both be transferred to the Department of Labor.

Q. After the first of the year?


[2.] Q. Mr. President, we keep hearing reports that Secretary Forrestal may resign soon. Is there anything to that?

THE PRESIDENT. No. That is a categorical answer.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, do you intend to do anything about Mr. Stassen's charges that insiders in the administration have been speculating in the commodity market?

THE PRESIDENT. I know nothing about it. I have no comment to make on it.

Q. You haven't seen the story this morning?

THE PRESIDENT. No I haven't. Sorry to say I didn't read Stassen's speech. I read the paper, but I didn't read the speech.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, getting back to the switch of those two units of the Government, you mentioned the reorganization plan. How extensive is that reorganization plan going to be?

THE PRESIDENT. It iS going to be rather extensive, but I can't give you the details until it is ready.

Q. Sir, is that the plan former President Hoover is connected with ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. This is inside the Government. This has nothing to do with the reorganization of the departments. These things will be inside the departments-just transfers. It will not affect the Hoover committee at all.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, what is the administration's policy on Federal Reserve Chairman Eccles' proposal for special reserve requirements of banks? Secretary Snyder says--

THE PRESIDENT. I think, if you will read the message which I sent to Congress, it explains fully and carefully exactly what I meant, and I have no further comment to make on the subject.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, referring to your message, no legislation has gone in yet on price control or wage control which you asked for. Do you know if anything will go in this session?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I can say positively that it will go in, in a couple of days. Everything in that message will be covered by legislation proposed by the administration.

Q. All the 10 points will be covered?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, all 10 points will be covered.

Q. What do you think of the Republican substitute ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't given it any thought. In fact, I haven't seen the Republican substitute. The message is what I want, and I want it carried out to the letter. I think anything short of that will be inadequate to do the job.

Q. Mr. President, with regard to the wage and price controls, would there be any possibility of an administration bill proposing temporary suspension of the antitrust laws, to apply voluntarily--

THE PRESIDENT. NO. The antitrust laws will be enforced to the limit, as long as I am President.

Q. Mr. President, will those price controls cover clothing?

THE PRESIDENT. They will cover everything that is necessary to be covered. I can't say positively item for item what it will be, but whatever is necessary to do to make the cost of living come down, that will be included.

Q. Cover basic commodities also ?


[7.] Q. Mr. President, have you chosen a successor to Mr. Dillon Myer yet?

THE PRESIDENT. NO. NO successor has been chosen. I will announce it as soon as he is chosen.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, if you--about a month ago, you characterized the OPA as a police state method. Would you care to say whether current proposals have any of that aspect?

THE PRESIDENT. The police state methods are only when they are carried out by a dictator. If the Congress authorizes the carrying out of price controls, and the President is authorized by Congress to carry them out, that is the free government approach to the thing.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us when the European Recovery Program will go up?

THE PRESIDENT. Just as soon as it is ready.

Q. Will that be--

THE PRESIDENT. In a short time. I can't give you the exact date.

Q. --this week, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. No. It will not go up this week. But I will give you the date. lust as quickly as it is ready, I will give you a copy.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with the enforcement of the antitrust laws, there is some sentiment in New England, in connection with the oil shortage up there, that there might be a relaxation of the laws so that oil companies could pool their resources and information, in order to meet spot shortages in certain areas.

THE PRESIDENT. There will be no relaxation of the antitrust laws as long as I am President--if I can help it.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, will you deliver your European aid message in person, or transmit it?

THE PRESIDENT. I will come to that conclusion when I get it ready. I think probably it will be transmitted. It will be too long to read. The Congress wouldn't want to listen to me for a couple of hours, although they listen to each other, sometimes ! [Laughter]

Q. What was your longest speech in the Senate ?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, about 35 minutes.

Q. Was it really?

THE PRESIDENT. I never did any filibustering in the Senate.

Q. Are you opposed to the general policy of filibustering?

THE PRESIDENT. As a general policy, I am opposed to it.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and twenty-ninth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, December 11, 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/232585

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