Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

July 25, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I have just signed the OPA bill, and I am sending a message to Congress which will reach there this evening. I will have that message ready for distribution within the next hour.

[2.] And I am going to announce the three members of the Decontrol Board within a day or two.

I am appointing Jesus T. Pinero as Governor of Puerto Rico. He is now Resident Commissioner of Puerto Rico.

And, I am appointing Dr. George W. Taylor to succeed O. Max Gardner as Chairman of the Advisory Board for the Office of War Mobilization.

And, I am appointing Dr. John Davidson Clark, and Leon Keyserling, to the Council of Economic Advisers created by the Employment Act of 1946. The third member will be announced in a few days.

Q. What was that board again, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. How's that?

Q. The full employment board?

THE PRESIDENT. The full employment board--Council of Economic Advisers is the proper title--created by the Employment Act of 1946.

Q. Will Dean Clark be the chairman of that?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I haven't announced--I am not ready to announce the chairman as yet.

Q. Mr. President, is Mr. Oscar Chapman under consideration for--

THE PRESIDENT, Yes, he has been under consideration. I will announce the third member pretty soon--can't find it out now.

Q. Mr. President, will you repeat the second name?

THE PRESIDENT. Leon Keyserling--K-e-y-s-e-r-l-i-n-g--Leon H. is his name.

[3.] I have just signed an Executive order transferring the functions of the Office of Economic Stabilization to the Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion. And Mr.--Dr. Steelman will act as Stabilization Director for the time being. Now I am ready for questions.

Q. How many jobs does that give Mr. Steelman?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, you'll have to ask him. I don't know.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, the Washington Post has proposed a civic send-off for Secretary Byrnes as he leaves tomorrow. What do you think of the idea?

THE PRESIDENT. I think it's a good idea. I was expecting to see Mr. Byrnes off myself, as usual.

Q. At the airport, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. At the airport.

Q. Do you know what time he leaves ?

THE PRESIDENT. Around noon, I think. It hasn't been officially announced as yet, but it's going to be around noon, I'm sure.

Q. At noon on Saturday, isn't it?

THE PRESIDENT. Saturday, yes.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, did you sign this OPA bill reluctantly ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. Do you think there is any further--

THE PRESIDENT. I am sending a message to Congress, a copy of which you will have, which will set out all the answers to any questions that you have to ask on that.

Q. Mr. President, if you will pardon us--

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right.

Q.--we have got to send our stories to the wire services off before we get that. Could we quote that word "reluctantly"?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, surely. It will be 2 hours before the message is ready. It will explain everything when you get it.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to sign the tidelands bill?

THE PRESIDENT. I will attend to that when it gets up here. I haven't seen the tidelands bill yet. I have been reading the record of the debates in the House and Senate. I haven't seen the bill.

Q. Will you act one way or the other?

THE PRESIDENT. I will answer that when the tidelands bill comes to me.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, are you ready to announce the new Director of the Budget ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. I forgot that. [Laughter]

That is--I had so many things a while ago that some of my papers got lost. I will tell you who the new Budget Director is going to be, if I can find the papers down in here.

James E. Webb, of Oxford, N.C.

Q. Where is he from again, please?

THE PRESIDENT. Oxford, N.C.

Q. Could you tell us anything about his background, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have the whole thing here, but I will have it mimeographed and give it to you. It will be better to do that than give it to you. It's rather long.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, when you go home to Missouri to vote, do you think that you will make a speech further endorsing the candidacy of Mr. Axtell ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no intention of making any speeches in Missouri while I am out there.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, how do you feel about some of the suggestions that have been made recently for a labor-management conference on wages?

THE PRESIDENT. I have it under consideration.

Q. Could we call that favorable, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Don't call it anything. I simply have it under consideration.

[10.] Q. Have you decided, Mr. President, whether you are going to sign the silver bill?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't seen it. I don't know what it purports to--

Q. Provides for the purchase and sale of silver at 90 1/2 cents--

THE PRESIDENT. I will attend to that when it gets up here. I haven't seen the bill. Until I have had a chance to analyze what it provides, I cannot discuss it.

[11.] Q. What is your reaction to the testimony that is coming out before the Mead committee on the Carsson1 operations ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I am sorry to see that things like that have to happen. We tried our best to prevent that thing from happening while the war was going on.

1 The question referred to the inquiry by the Senate Special Committee To Investigate the National Defense Program concerning certain war contracts and other activities in which Dr. Henry M. Garsson and his brother Murray W. Garsson were concerned.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, in selecting the Decontrol Board, will you consider people who have been connected with the OPA or with the Stabilization--

THE PRESIDENT. No, I will not.

Q. It will have to be others entirely?

THE PRESIDENT. It's--it's a nonpacked jury. [Laughter]

Q. You are going outside the OPA for it?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, what was your reaction to the complete rejection by Mr. Gromyko of the American plan for the international control--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. I am still behind the American plan.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, could I ask another question?

THE PRESIDENT. Shoot.

Q. I wondered if, in the light of recent events in Palestine, you were still for the immediate immigration of one hundred thousand Jews?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't want to make any comment on that, because the Committee is in London now working on that very thing. They will probably make a report to me very shortly on the subject, then I will announce it.

Q. That Committee has not yet reported ?

THE PRESIDENT. They report to me every day, but the final conclusion has not been reached.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, are you going to appoint an interdepartmental committee to study legislation to deal with disloyalty in the Government?

THE PRESIDENT. I hadn't given it any thought.

Q. Jennings Randolph is going to send you a letter on that today.

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't received it.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, you indicated a few days ago that if a good case were made, you would authorize release of income tax data in connection with the Mead investigation?

THE PRESIDENT. That is correct.

Q. Has that request been made, or have you acted ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't been requested to act.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, your appointment of a Puerto Rican to be Governor of the island is the first time since 1898. Does that mean you want the Puerto Ricans to have a greater share in the government--

THE PRESIDENT. Why certainly.

Q.--of the territory?

THE PRESIDENT. Certainly. I sent a message to Congress on that some time back, which I would advise you to read. It covers the situation thoroughly.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, have you made up your mind on the Decontrol Board yet?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made up my mind on two of the members, and I am trying to get a third one to accept. Just as soon as I have that acceptance I will give you the members of the Board.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, in your message to Congress, do you have any request for further appropriations for OPA?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made that request already.

Q. How much did you ask for, Mr. President? I haven't seen that. Has that gone to the Hill?

THE PRESIDENT. It hasn't gone yet. It will go in today.

Q. Do you know--could you tell us--

THE PRESIDENT. No, I would rather not. Let the appropriations committee--it will require additional funds, of course.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, have you signed the third deficiency bill?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. Yes, I signed that bill.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to make another request in regard to the 65 cents minimum wage bill ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made at least a half dozen requests on that. If it is necessary to make another one, I will make it.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's seventy-fifth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4:10 p.m. on Thursday, July 25, 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/231905

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