Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

July 11, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I have some reports I want to call your attention to. The Evaluation Board of the Joint Chiefs of Staff has put out a preliminary report, and the President's Evaluation Commission, headed by Senator Hatch, has put out a preliminary report, which I think is in the hands of most of you. Those of you who haven't it-those reports, they are available for distribution. They are merely preliminary reports, and do not go into details.

[2.] Then I have a very important report by Mr. Steelman's office--Mr. Steelman's report for this quarter, and it's--I would like to emphasize one or two things in it, if you like. This is also available-this is a statement, and I just want to take one or two things out of it for you:

Production by midyear reached the highest level ever attained in peacetime.

More people are working now than ever before--four and a half million more than in 1941, our highest prewar year.

Although public attention was focused on the soft coal and railroad strikes, the great majority of workers remained on their jobs. Fewer man-days of idleness due to industrial disputes were recorded during the last quarter than in the first 3 months of this year.

Our people are earning more money and they are purchasing a greater volume of goods than ever before in peacetime.

We are meeting in full our commitments to ship food to the starving peoples of the world.

We have made more progress than many thought possible toward providing new houses for our people.

Certainly, up to this point, runaway inflation has been prevented.

But as the seventh report of the Reconversion Director points out, all of the ground we have so laboriously won against inflation will be lost without workable price control. Every day that passes without a price control law on the books increases that danger. Now I am ready for questions.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, would you sign the OPA extension bill as it was reported out by the Banking Committee, without meat control--

THE PRESIDENT. Do you know what the OPA extension bill was in the last 5 minutes? What was the last amendment? I can't tell you what I will do with the OPA bill until it gets before me, because nobody knows what it's going to be.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, are you considering former Mayor Thomas Holling of Buffalo for Governor of Puerto Rico?

THE PRESIDENT. No. Somebody may have recommended him, and I haven't--the letter may not yet have reached me.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, did you discuss politics with Paul Fitzpatrick?

THE PRESIDENT. Why certainly. That's what Paul Fitzpatrick came in here for, and I was glad to discuss politics with him.

Q. Can you say anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. He is very well educated in politics. No, I have no comment to make.

Q. Mr. President, after he left, he said that in behalf of the New York delegation he had asked you to issue another appeal to Great Britain concerning Palestine. Have you any intention of issuing such an appeal ?

THE PRESIDENT. The Cabinet committees of Great Britain and the United States are now meeting on the implementation of the report of the Commission, and I have no comment to make at the present time.

[6.] Q. Have you any comment, Mr. President, now on your endorsement of Senator Mead--

THE PRESIDENT. No.

Q.-- as candidate for Governor

THE PRESIDENT. Well, let's wait a little while to see about that.

[7.] Q. Do you consider your letter to Senator Wheeler an endorsement of the primary campaign--

THE PRESIDENT. No. Senator Wheeler's-not necessarily an endorsement. You can translate it that way, if you like. Senator Wheeler's--the opponent of Senator Wheeler--the manager of Senator Wheeler's campaign opponent issued a mimeographed letter which was an attack on me, and a vicious attack on Wheeler. It was so palpably untrue that I couldn't let it pass by without comment, so I wrote Senator Wheeler a letter about it.

Q. Mr. President, if you are only going to deal with politics in your own State, why did--

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't say that. I said that in the primaries I dealt with politics only in Missouri. I am dealing with politics in every State in the Union.

Q. What can you tell us, then, about-[laughter]--about what Fitzpatrick said about New York State politics?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with Puerto Rico, would you care to comment on the recommendation of the legislature of Puerto Rico, that the Resident Commissioner Pifiero be named to succeed Tugwell ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have received that recommendation, and I am glad to get it. I have been trying to find a Puerto Rican who could act as Governor of Puerto Rico.

Q. How near are you--is that decision pretty near, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I haven't made a decision as yet. I will let you know immediately, when I make it.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, up on Capitol Hill there's a rumor--report to the effect that you expect to call a special session of Congress at the conclusion of this one, if they haven't finished your suggested program. Would you care to comment? Do you intend to do so?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that. That's the first I've heard of it.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think of the current activities of the Mead investigating committee ?

THE PRESIDENT. They came up here, all the members of the committee--that is, most of them, Republicans and Democrats--and told me that they had some evidence on unconscionable war profits, and asked if they would have the cooperation of the administration in ferreting out these profits. And I told them they would have the full cooperation of the administration in that endeavor.

Q. They have it now?

THE PRESIDENT. They have that cooperation.

Q. Did they ask you for permission to look at the tax returns ?

THE PRESIDENT. They have not yet, but I imagine that they will; and if they have justification enough for them to be looked at, they will be given that permission.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, Charlie Ross has told us on several occasions that you have been in touch by telephone with Mr. Byrnes at Paris?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. Is there anything that you could let us have in reflection, on what progress was made there?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, there is nothing that transpired between Mr. Byrnes and myself that hasn't been in the newspapers. He will be home very shortly, and will immediately make a statement on the Paris conference, and I would prefer that he make the comments, because he was there.

Q. The fact that he will be home very shortly would seem to indicate that he does not expect to go very much farther--deeper at this point into the German question, since they have only begun--

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that. You will have to ask Mr. Byrnes about that.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's seventy-second news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Thursday, July 11, 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/231821

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