Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

December 03, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] The first announcement I want to make is that O. Max Gardner will be Ambassador to Great Britain.

[2.] And there is another short statement I want to make about the State Department and this building over here. There has been some misapprehension about this building over here. It is still the headquarters of the State Department. The State Department has been housed in 36 buildings here in Washington, and we are trying to get that scattered number of the people who are in those 36 buildings, as nearly as we can, in this building up on Virginia Avenue. This building over here will still continue to be the State Department building, the headquarters of the Secretary and any offices he wants to have in it.

[3.] Then I want to say, so that it won't be necessary to ask the question, that there will be no comment and no statement on the coal situation at this time. It is pending in the court.

Now I am ready for questions.

Q. How about housing, Mr. President?

[4.] Q. Mr. President, without--I hope this isn't facetious or anything of that sort--

THE PRESIDENT. All right.

Q.--leaving the court question out, are you giving any consideration to getting coal mined ?

THE PRESIDENT. I will make no comment on the coal situation.

Q. Strip mining--

Q. What was that question?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. He wanted to know if I was going to make any effort to produce coal. I will make no comment on the coal situation at this time.

[5.] Q. Does that preclude questions about the general labor situation, or Representative Rankin's call in particular? He said that you had told him that you were going to prepare the strongest message you knew how to prepare--.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that is true, but it doesn't necessarily refer entirely to labor. That refers to everything with which this country is confronted. Of course, I will send as strong a message as possible to the Congress, so that we can cooperate and get something done.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, I have been asked to put this question to you. Do you favor the proposal of Wilson Wyatt with the RFC Mortgage Company to issue second mortgages with 10 percent of the cost of constructing rental housing projects--

Q. I give up! [Laughter]

Q.--for veterans, so that the FHA-[laughter]--insured loans of 90 percent on that building may be 100 percent financially available ? [More laughter]

Q. When did you stop?

THE PRESIDENT. Pete,1 Mr. Wyatt and I are having a conference after this press conference, and if there is anything to announce, it will be announced after that meeting with Mr. Wyatt.

1 Raymond P. Brandt of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Q. Do you think you will have anything to announce?

THE PRESIDENT. Your guess is as good as mine.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Austin told the United Nations Site Committee that it could have the Presidio subject to congressional action, and indicated, I think, that the course of action met with your approval. Is that correct, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. That is absolutely correct.

Q. Does that mean that the Government favors the Presidio over some other site ?

THE PRESIDENT. It means that the President is willing to, as far as he can, help the United Nations get the Presidio site if they want it. It is up to them to make the decision. I have no preference.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you know when Governor Gardner will assume his new duties?

THE PRESIDENT. As soon as he can get ready, I am certain.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us what you talked about with Prime Minister Smuts of South Africa?

THE PRESIDENT. Had a most pleasant social visit with Prime Minister Smuts. One of the most interesting ones I have had since I have been President. He's a grand old man. Purely a social call.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, Senator O'Mahoney told us this morning that he had suggested to you that he was going to introduce legislation designed to encourage the annual wage in American industry. Do you have any comment on that suggestion?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. He told me that, too, but I have no comment on it.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, in the new liquidation overall agency that is in the process of being set up, will housing go into that?

THE PRESIDENT. We are trying to work that out. As soon as it is completed, why I will give you the facts just as they are. It isn't ready yet.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, there is a report on the west coast that Senator Mitchell is to be appointed to the Maritime Commission. Is that correct?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't heard about it.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, any successor to Governor Gardner over at Treasury?

THE PRESIDENT. No, not at the present time. I am not ready to announce that yet.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, do you approve congressional investigation of the military government in Germany at this time? From start to finish all the way through?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think it's necessary.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, will you combine your annual and Budget Messages again this year?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that is yet to be determined. As soon as I have those details straightened out, I will inform you exactly how the procedure will follow.

Q. Mr. President, can you discuss the possible size of the budget?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I cannot. It is in the course of preparation, and no one--

Q. Trying to keep it around 30 to 32 billion?

THE PRESIDENT. --.nobody knows what it will be until it is finished. No one can talk intelligently about it until it's in shape.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, is Senator Mead being considered for any Federal appointment?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, there is a report that the sponsors of the Toledo plan for labor-management peace presented the same idea to you for application on a national scale. Any comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. Haven't heard about it.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, in view of the recurring attacks on Mr. Braden with regard to Argentine policy, I was wondering if you would state your views on the general situation ?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Acheson stated my views yesterday. 1

1 As reported in the New York Times of November 30, Dean Acheson, Under Secretary of State, said that the United States supported Assistant Secretary Spruille Braden's policy on Argentina.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan an early appointment to the FCC chairmanship ?

THE PRESIDENT. The Federal Communications ?

Q. Yes sir.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I will make the appointment as soon as I can find the man to fill the job.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, any comment on Ambassador McNutt's visit to this country?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, Ambassador McNutt, I think, is here in the interest of getting certain details worked out on a purchasing program which we have already tried to implement. We are helping him all we can.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, is the White House heated by coal or oil? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. The White House has three heating plants. I don't know whether any of them are run by coal or not. I know that one is run by oil. I don't even know where they are. [More laughter]

Q. You ought to make Pete give us a copy of that question he asked you. [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it has been suggested, Pete, that you furnish a copy- -

Q. I won't read it again! [More laughter]

Q. Ask Pete if he has mimeographed copies!

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.

Note: President Truman's ninetieth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, December 3, 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/232288

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