Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

August 09, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have no particular announcements to make to you, but I will try to answer your questions, if you want to ask me.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, the Republican national campaign director today accuses you of ingannation in connection with your budget.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I guess that's just to add to the obfuscation of all the rest of his statement. [Laughter] That's about in line with what he's trying to say.

[2.] Q. Any comment, Mr. President, about the victory of Axtell over Representative Slaughter in the Missouri primary?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, is there any reason now for further delay in the seizure of the J. I. Case plant in Milwaukee?

THE PRESIDENT. That is still--

Q. Has the administration decided to abandon--

THE PRESIDENT. --still in the hands of the Department of Labor.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan any decision over the weekend on the Palestine situation ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I do not.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, the Democratic National Committee paper, The Democrat, says that the OPA is one of the main issues of the campaign. Do you agree with that?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I think we will just wait a little while and see. It will be an issue, of course. Whether it will be the main issue or not, I don't know.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, on the Palestine issue, do you have any comment on the British Government's action in moving to stop illegal immigration.--

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Mr. President, are you planning to-are you considering naming Mr. Pauley as your personal representative in this Palestine business?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Pauley has a job. At least he is my representative on the Reparations Commission.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, are you considering former Senator Caraway for Mrs. McMillin's place on the Civil Service Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you see any objection in the publication of the Grady report, in view of the fact that the substance of it has already been stated in the House of Commons?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it should not have been published at this time, because it is still in the negotiation stage.

Q. Mr. Grady's report should not have been, or Mr. Morrison's ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have no control of Mr. Morrison. I have some control of Mr. Grady.

Q. Mr. President, now that Grady's work is completed, is he going home to San Francisco?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know. Of course not. Mr. Grady is still working on the job.

Q. There was some indication that his phase of it might be ended ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. Still working at the job.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, have you reached any decision regarding the Wheeler-Reed railroad reorganization bill?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. It is still going through the mill. I haven't received it--or I haven't had the report on it as yet.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, have you read the interview with General Peron the other day?

THE PRESIDENT. What was the nature of the interview? I don't think I read it.

Q. Well, a very long-winded thing. It said if there was going to be war, that he would be on our side this time.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I am happy to hear that, but I haven't read the interview.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, getting back to the ingannation--

THE PRESIDENT. The obfuscation. [Laughter ]

Q. Get him to spell that, will you?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I will spell it for you. I had it looked up in the dictionary. It means deceit or deception, and it is spelled i-n-g-a-n-n-a-i-o-n.

I don't use $40 words like that in my language.

Q. Is that a double n, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. That's a Republican word. It isn't Democratic. [Laughter]

Q. I just wondered if it has a double n in the middle of it, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. It says so here. I never saw the word until I heard or saw it in the paper, and then I had to get a dictionary and look it up.

Q. He takes your revised budget as an invitation to make it a political issue, and says he intends to accept the invitation. Did you intend it as such ?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at all. It's just a plain statement of the facts as they are, and nothing else.

Q. Mr. President, did you ask Dr. Hassett about that wording, or did you have--

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I discussed it with Dr. Hassett.

Dr. Hassett's opinion was the same as mine, that it was a good Republican word, and that the Democrats wouldn't use it. [Laughter]

Q. What's the value you place on your Democratic word?

THE PRESIDENT. Obfuscation? That means to mess you up, Tony.1

1Ernest B. Vaccaro of the Associated Press.

Q. Is that a Democratic word, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, that's a Democratic word. [More laughter]

[12.] Q. Mr. President, may I ask you a local question?

THE PRESIDENT. Sure.

Q. Do you know whether or not Senator Mead will be a candidate for the New York governorship--

THE PRESIDENT. I do not.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, have you any word on the membership of the atomic commission yet?

THE PRESIDENT. No, we are still working on it. I am not ready to make an announcement on it. As soon as I can I will immediately announce it, whenever I have the answer.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, the Puerto Rican legislature recently passed a bill calling for the use of the Spanish language in the schools there. Has that come to your attention yet?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't seen it. It probably won't.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, not commenting on the victory of Mr. Axtell in Missouri, would you care to predict what will happen to him in November?

THE PRESIDENT. He will be elected--he will be elected.

That's a categorical statement.

Q. Would you say the result of the Missouri primary would help the passage of FEPC ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on the Missouri primary.

Q. Have you sent Mr. Axtell a congratulatory message, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not.

Q. You don't intend to ?

[16.] Q. Mr. President, have you received any information on the Justice Department's investigation of the lynchings in Georgia?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have not officially. All I know is what I have seen in the papers. I know that their investigation is going forward with all the energy possible.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, getting back to that budget question, the Republicans claim that--the statement claims there is no chance of getting a balanced budget under a Democratic President. Do you think we would have any better luck under a Republican? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. That question is perfectly obvious: No! [More laughter]

You know the budget would have been balanced except for the passage of the terminal leave pay bill, which was not anticipated by me in the first budget, and which was unanimously passed by the House, Mr. Brown voting for it. So it is a two-party measure, and both parties are ready to take the credit for it, as is the President of the United States. And that's what caused the deficit.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, the Patent Office, we understand, is still split between Washington and Richmond--

THE PRESIDENT. Just as soon as we can find the room, we are going to move them all back to Washington.

Q. Do you think that will be shortly ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't--I can't answer the question. lust as quickly as we can get it done. We are trying to move all those agencies back where they belong as quickly as possible.

Q. Mr. President, does that take into consideration housing for the folks--

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, it takes everything

Q. Pretty well crowded here.

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, very badly crowded here, and as soon as it's possible, we are moving all those regular governmental functions back to Washington.

Q. That wouldn't be immediately ?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh no, it won't be immediately. It will be as soon as possible.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, in his conversation or report with you, has Mr. Byrnes indicated how long he thinks this Paris conference is going to last?

THE PRESIDENT. No he hasn't.

Q. Is there anything that you can reveal in the report he has made? Is he satisfied with the progress--

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, this is a negotiation of a peace treaty openly arrived at, and it's--every day's report is all public, on the same basis as that proposed by Woodrow Wilson, so you know every day just as much as I do about it.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, there is a Federal aid for hospitals bill. Can you tell me if there is any progress being made on that? I think it's near your desk, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. I think it is, and I anticipate it coming to my desk at any moment now.

Q. You haven't taken any action ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't received it yet.

[21.] Q. Have you just about worked through that backlog of legislation?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. All signed but about 40--approved or disapproved whatever is necessary to be done with them. think I signed about 180. Still 40 or 50 left.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, one more question on Palestine. You said that you probably would not act this weekend. Can you foresee at this point when you might get to that?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't. Just as soon as I get to it I will inform you promptly.

Q. There have been some reports published that you have been in communication again with Attlee. Is there any truth in that?

THE PRESIDENT. No, there isn't.

Q. Mr. President, have you received any specific recommendations from the Grady mission on Palestine ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't.

Q. Mr. President, is it within your constitutional power to approve the plan drawn up by Grady and others?

THE PRESIDENT. This has nothing to do with the treaty or the Constitution. I don't think the Constitution enters into it at all. The New York Times had a very learned article on the subject this morning, which was interesting to me. [Laughter]

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.

Note: President Truman's seventy-eighth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4:05 p.m. on Friday, August 9, 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/232008

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