Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

August 01, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I am sending a letter on the budget to all the heads of the executive departments and agencies--a copy of this will be available to you when you go out-asking them to cut expenses as much as possible.

And we will have a budget press conference tomorrow at 3 o'clock, in the Movie Room over in the east wing.

[2.] I have just sent down the name of Keen Johnson of Kentucky, to be Under Secretary of Labor.

And, I signed the bill creating an Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs; and I appointed Mr. William Clayton to that job.

Q. What's that title again, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs. And that's--

Q. Keen Johnson is Under Secretary of Labor?

THE PRESIDENT. Keen Johnson is Under Secretary of Labor, and Will Clayton is the Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs.

Q. Mr. President, that's former Governor of Kentucky, isn't he ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, he was Governor.

Q. K-e-e-n?

THE PRESIDENT. K-e-e-n. And without any "t" in the Johnson.

Q. Mr. President, you have two vacancies there, in Assistant Secretaries of State then?

THE PRESIDENT. I think so--I think so. I have no announcements to make on them. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, will Mr. Clayton's duties be much as they have been?

THE PRESIDENT. Just what they have been. Substantially what he has been doing right along.

I am ready for questions now.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, there is a story out of London this morning that Prime Minister Attlee has rushed back to London from Paris to confer with members of his Cabinet on American opposition to the British partition plan in Palestine, and that he has been in consultation with you by telephone.

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Attlee has not been in consultation with me. And the statement which I made on the subject yesterday covers the situation, so far as I am concerned.1 No further comment than that.

1The statement, released by the White House on July 31, follows:

"The President has been considering certain recommendations of the Alternates of the Cabinet Committee with regard to Palestine and has decided in view of the complexity of the matter to request Ambassador Grady and his associates to return to Washington to discuss the whole matter with him in detail.

"The President hopes that further discussions will result in decisions which will alleviate the situation of the persecuted Jews in Europe and at the same time contribute to the ultimate solution of the longer term problem of Palestine."

Q. There wasn't any trans-Atlantic--

THE PRESIDENT. No conversation with Mr. Attlee. He has been in conversation with Mr. Byrnes.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, do you favor the renomination of Senator McKellar?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not in Tennessee politics. I think you understand that. No comment on that.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, have you decided whether to sign or veto the tidelands oil bill ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am having it studied now, and as soon as I come to a conclusion, you will be informed at once.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, the Honolulu Advertiser this morning says that Pearl Harbor today is just as vulnerable as it was on December 7, 1941, because of the antiquated system of command out there. Would you care to comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I haven't been out there.

Q. Are you going? [Laughter]


[7.] Q. Mr. President, the New York Times reports today from Tokyo that a member of General MacArthur's staff says that the United States Commercial Company, a Government corporation, is depriving others of badly needed textiles by mishandling silk exports from Japan. Has that been brought to your attention?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I know nothing about it. That's the first I've heard of it.

[8.] Q. Can you comment on Dillon Myer, who is not known particularly as a housing official?

THE PRESIDENT. He is a very able administrator. That's what we need, is an able administrator.

Q. Housing Commissioner, that is.


Q. He is an old friend of yours ?

THE PRESIDENT. I know his ability. I know his record, and I think he will make an excellent Housing Commissioner because he is a good administrator. That's the reason I appointed him.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, did you get a letter from Senator Johnson of Colorado, regarding David K. Niles?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I have had no such letter. He's sitting here. You might ask him. [Laughter]

[10.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the recent lynching in Georgia?

THE PRESIDENT. I made that comment yesterday, which was published in all the papers of the United States. I have a copy of it available here, if you want it. 1

1 The President probably referred to a statement released by Attorney General Tom C. Clark. As reported in the New York Times for July 31 Mr. Clark said "I have talked with the President regarding this case and he has expressed to me his horror at the crime and his sympathy for the families of the victims. He has asked that the Department report its progress in the investigation and proceed with all its resources to investigate this and any other crimes of oppression so as to ascertain if any Federal statute can be applied to the apprehension and prosecution of the criminals."

Q. Do you think a Federal antilynching bill is necessary ?

THE PRESIDENT. I voted for it every time it came up, when I was in the Senate.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, when Mr. Justice Jackson returns in a few days, do you expect to talk to him about his little feud--

THE PRESIDENT. I expect to talk with him about his duties in Germany. I have no other object in talking to him.

Q. Do you expect him to return, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. That's what the papers say. Of course he's going to return to his duties. That's what he's coming home for.

[12.] Q. Has this Government made any inquiries as a result of the reports of religious and racial persecution in Yugoslavia and Albania ?

THE PRESIDENT. They have not. This Government has not.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, do you expect to have the leadership of Senator Mead at your side during the next 6 years? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. That was good. If you are discussing New York politics, I am not going to discuss New York politics this morning. [More laughter]

Q. What do you hear from Missouri politics, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Not a word. I have no comment on that, either. That's a good question, though. [Laughter]

Q. But no answer?

THE PRESIDENT. No answer, no.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, do you think you may go to Puerto Rico to attend the inauguration of Mr. Pinero?

THE PRESIDENT. I hadn't considered it. I would like to go, of course. I have been wanting to go to Puerto Rico for a long time, but I don't think there's any chance of my going.

[15.] Q. How about naming the atomic energy committee?

THE PRESIDENT. I am working on that now, and as soon as I have the proper acceptances, they will be announced. I can make no statement on it this morning.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's seventy-sixth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 1, 1946.

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/231954

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