Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

June 20, 1946

THE PRESIDENT. I have no particular announcements to make today, so you might as well start off with your questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, do you endorse the suggestion that Mr. La Guardia run for the Senate when Jim Mead declares for the governorship?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not making any endorsements from any States outside Missouri.

Q. Mr. President, following that up, you did not suggest that he do so?

THE PRESIDENT. I have made no suggestions to anyone on political alignments in any

State outside the State of Missouri.

Q. Mr. President, what have you suggested for Missouri?

THE PRESIDENT. That is my home State. I have got a right to make suggestions.

Q. I just wondered what the suggestions might have been?

THE PRESIDENT. I have none to make.[Laughter]

[2.] Q. Mr. President, do you favor the amendments slapped on by the House Military Affairs Committee, to add military men--one or two--to the atomic committee--

THE PRESIDENT. I will act on that when it comes before me. I don't like to discuss legislation until I know what it's going to be. You see, it still has to act on that.

Q. Your recommendation on that was for an exclusively civilian commission--

THE PRESIDENT. The Senate bill suited me exactly.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, was Mr. Baruch directed to use the Acheson report in stating the United States position

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Baruch stated the--Mr. Baruch stated the policy of the United States at the direction of the President.

Q. Do you have any comment, sir, on the Russian proposal for handling atomic energy?

THE PRESIDENT. The Baruch report to the atomic energy committee is--has my endorsement.

Q. Including the provisions that the veto power be retained until some time--

THE PRESIDENT. Including all the provisions which are in it.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, there is one other point about Justice Jackson that never has been cleared up--I don't know whether you can clear it up or not, sir--do you know-you said that he had sent you in substance his statement, and that you had requested him, or suggested that he hold it off until you talked to him. Do you know, sir, whether he received that request of yours?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. He acknowledged it.

Q. He did receive and acknowledge it?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, have you received from Mr. Forrestal or Admiral Nimitz a letter similar to that from Secretary Patterson, on unification?

THE PRESIDENT. No, but I will. Mr. Forfestal was in to talk to me about it.1

1 The letter from Secretary Patterson, dated June 18, and one from Secretary Forrestal, dated June 24, were released by the White House on June 18 and 26, respectively.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, with respect to the Baruch report, in your statement that you just made, would you care to answer whether or not your position is adamant-wouldn't subject it to any diplomatic discussion or negotiation?

THE PRESIDENT. I would not like to answer a question like that, because of course there will be negotiation on it, and we may reach an agreement.

Q. I stated it very bluntly. I'm sorry.

THE PRESIDENT. I would rather not discuss it, that phase of it.

Q. Mr. President, when you say the Senate legislation suited you exactly, so far as atomic energy is concerned, is that an affirmation, sir, that you believe the civilian control of atomic energy--

THE PRESIDENT. It certainly is, and I have made that perfectly plain time and again.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the report of the subcommittee of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the House, just made public yesterday, in which Mr. Bloom criticizes having been--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment. Understand it was an unauthorized release, so I have no comment to make on it.

[8.] Q. Could you tell us about your talk with former President Hoover, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Discussed the food situation, and he reported that he had had a very successful trip to South America, and would make a formal report on it, to me, at a later date.

Q. The OPA come up at all, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. It did not.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, would you regard the Grand Mufti, now in Egypt seeking sanctuary in King Farouk's palace--would you regard him as a war criminal ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on it, because I don't know enough about it to give you an intelligent answer.

Q. Mr. President, is this Government taking any steps, informative or otherwise, in connection with the movement? 2

THE PRESIDENT. No.

2 Haj Amin el Husseini, the Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the anti-Zionist Arab forces, had been in exile and under house arrest in France. Because of his pro-Nazi war activities the Mufti was in danger of being tried as a war criminal and had escaped to Egypt.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, do you feel that the removal of meat controls on the price of meat would handicap our efforts to meet our pledges abroad in the famine areas ?

THE PRESIDENT. I will let you hear about that when I get the OPA bill here on my desk.

Q. Was that one that was discussed between ,Mr. Hoover and yourself?

THE PRESIDENT. It was not. We discussed only food and its relationship to the world, and South America's contribution to it.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, can you say whether Ed Pauley, who is now coming back to Tokyo, is coming home by way of Moscow?

THE PRESIDENT. He is not coming home by way of Moscow. He will probably go to Germany before he gets home.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, will Governor Tugwell continue to be Governor of Puerto Rico after June 30th?

THE PRESIDENT. Governor Tugwell has been trying to quit as Governor of Puerto Rico for some time. He has agreed to stay until I can find a successor here.

Q. Have you decided on that successor, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I have not.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, is General Gregory leaving as War Assets Administrator? There have been two or three stories to that general effect. One of them said that Mr. Nelson was coming back--had been asked to come back.

THE PRESIDENT. General Gregory has been wanting to quit for some time on account of his health, and as soon as I can find a satisfactory successor to him, why he will quit.

Q. Has Mr. Nelson been tendered that position?

THE PRESIDENT. No, he has not.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, did you discuss the future of the Pacific bases with Dr. Evatt this morning?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. We discussed everything in connection with the Pacific, and he is going to discuss the matter further with the Under Secretary of State.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, will the High Commissioner of the Philippines come before July 4th?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon?

Q. Will Mr. McNutt come to the United States before July 4th?

THE PRESIDENT. He does not contemplate a return until after the new government has been established; and I have sent the appointment as an Ambassador to the--first Ambassador to the Philippines, to the Senate.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, anything on the perennial twins of Case and Allis-Chalmers ? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. They are still negotiating, that's all I can say.

Q. That is only as to Allis-Chalmers though, I think, isn't it?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, that's true.

Q. Mr. President, is it yet possible to set a date when the mines will be turned back to the operators ?

THE PRESIDENT. No it isn't, right at this time.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, on the question of the Pacific bases, did you come to any general understanding with Mr.--

THE PRESIDENT. No, no. Mr. Evatt discussed them. I didn't. He is going to discuss the matter further with the State Department. That is as far as it went. There were some statements on it which I am not at liberty to quote.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, have there been any further, or concrete developments on the implementation of getting the hundred thousand Jews into Palestine ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. We sent a commission to England to discuss that matter with the British Government.

Q. I wondered if there had been any--

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make at the present time.

[19.] Q. Do you have any report of progress, or lack of progress, sir, on the foreign ministers meeting in Paris?

THE PRESIDENT. No. Only what I see in the papers.

Q. Have you been in touch with the Secretary ?

THE PRESIDENT. Every day. I hear from him every day.

Q. Is that by telephone or telegraph?

THE PRESIDENT. By telegraph.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any definite vacation plans this summer?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. I wish I could make some, but I can't.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's seventieth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 20, 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/231596

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