Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

September 26, 1945

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I've no particular announcements to make to you this morning; I just thought maybe it was time to have a press conference, and if you--

[1.] Q. Mr. President, what is your reaction to proposals from abroad for the establishment of an Allied Control Commission for Japan?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, the establishment of the Japanese Government was agreed to by all the Allied nations interested, and it is satisfactory to them. I hadn't received any notice there would be a discussion of that sort.

[2.] Q. Getting a little closer home, some weeks ago I asked you about the St. Lawrence Seaway, and you said you expected to have something for us soon.

THE PRESIDENT. I'm still expecting it; I haven't it ready yet.

Q. In view of the fact that Governor Dewy has sent in his protest about New York State being excluded from that proposed bill, can you tell us when you are going to reply to Governor Dewey?

THE PRESIDENT. Probably tomorrow. I'll give it to you when it's ready.

[3.] Q. There has been a lot of curiosity about the gift of that C-54 to General de Gaulle. The Treasury, the State Department, the White House, and the Attorney General don't seem to know under what statute or Executive order a President is authorized to make such a gift. I wonder if you could make some comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. The gift was made to General de Gaulle the same as the gift to former Prime Minister Churchill, General Chiang Kai-shek, and the King of Saudi Arabia under the War Powers Act, and was done as a matter of good will, because we had more C-54's than we could use and General de Gaulle needed one. It was the Government of the United States in a gesture of friendship to the Government of France.

[4.] Q. May I return to the first question ? I believe the statement from the White House the other day said that when the other countries are not in agreement on occupation policy, that the policy of the United States will prevail.

THE PRESIDENT. That is correct.

Q. The question I wanted to ask is, is there a mechanism to bring about a concerted policy on Japan? Is there a periodical opportunity to see that others agree?

THE PRESIDENT. The appointment of General MacArthur as Allied Commander in Chief was concurred in by all the interested powers, and he is designated to act for all the interested powers.

Q. Do the other interested powers have the opportunity to express views on evolving occupation policies?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, they do, through the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

Q. What if the Russians desire to get in touch with General MacArthur and they are not members of the Joint Chiefs of Staff?

THE PRESIDENT. They have a representative with General MacArthur through whom they can get in touch with him, or through me if they desire.

Q. Mr. President, do you have any comments to make on reports from London yesterday saying, I believe, that the Russians might want more part in the control of Japan?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment, because all I know is what I have seen in the papers.

Q. When do they expect Mr. Byrnes back, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. I think sometime within the next 10 days. I don't know exactly.

Q. Mr. President, do you think General MacArthur may come or send someone to the United States for consultation?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I don't look for him to do that; unless he feels it is necessary, I have no reason to ask him to come.

[5.] Q. Any plans in the works for another Big Three conference?


Q. Any plans for another Big Three meeting?


[6.] Q. Anything to say on the reports of the failure of the Big Five foreign ministers' conference in London?

THE PRESIDENT. They're all surmises. You don't know a thing about the meeting until it's over. Let's wait until we hear the official report of the Big Five and see whether it's a failure or not.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, do you propose to send up a message this week on the atomic bomb and its disposition?

THE PRESIDENT. Sometime soon.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you care to comment on the Ways and Means Committee's killing the unemployment compensation bill?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't know they had killed it. If they have, I'm sorry, and they'll hear from me later. 1

1 A White House release of September 30, 1945, stated that some of the comment on the President's supplementary unemployment compensation proposal had indicated a complete misunderstanding of the significance of the $25 a week maximum. As the President sought to make clear in his message to Congress on September 6th, the release continued, the $25 was a ceiling and not a guarantee that everyone would get $25 a week. All existing State laws which calculated weekly benefits as a percentage of wage loss would remain In effect, the release added.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, the papers in Arkansas say you are to be there October 5 and 6 for the cotton-picking championship. Is that so?

THE PRESIDENT. I was expecting to go to Caruthersville to the fair on the 6th, and I had said to the Governor of Arkansas that if I could manage it I would stop there, but it looks now as if I am not going to get to either one.

[10.] Q. May I ask you another question about the St. Lawrence Waterway: will there be a bill on that?

THE PRESIDENT. That's up to the Congress whether there'11 be a bill. I have voted for that twice.

Q. You are expecting to send a message soon?


[11.] Q. To go back from the St. Lawrence to Japan: what is the disposition of the fleet units that have been seized ? Do we fall heir to the title to these, or are we going to split them up with the other--

THE PRESIDENT. They will probably be worked out as a reparations question, just the same way the German and Italian fleets were worked out.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, do you think we are in more of an isolationist mood in this country now? David Lawrence wrote an article in the Star last night saying we are in more of an isolationist mood than in the past.

THE PRESIDENT. I don't agree with him. If we ever get to that point, we are on the road to ruin just as in 1920.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, did Mr. Roosevelt, in his past conferences, make a commitment to the King of Arabia that the United States would not make an issue out of the Palestine question?

THE PRESIDENT, No, there is no record of any conference between the King of Arabia and the President in which any such statement was made. I have looked for it very carefully.

[14.] Q. Is Leo Crowley planning to get out of Government?

THE PRESIDENT. Leo--Mr. Crowley--has been trying to resign for some time, and I have persuaded him to stay so far. He may want to do it again, and I will probably talk with him some more. 1

1 A White Hesse release dated September 27 announced that the President had that day accepted Mr. Crowley's resignation as Administrator of the Foreign Economic Administration and as a member of the board of directors of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, effective at the close of business October 15. The release also included the text of the letters exchanged between the President and Mr. Crowley.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, have you taken up with Senator Downey anything about his proposed bill--that 20 percent wage increase bill ?

THE PRESIDENT. He was in and talked with me, but no conclusion was reached on it. He has a perfect right to introduce it if he wants to.

Q. Mr. President,--

Q. Mr. President, do you have a nomination on the Solicitor General?

THE PRESIDENT. Let the lady ask a question; you had one before.

[16.] Q. [Lady reporter] The strike situation was apparently a factor in the House Ways and Means Committee's shelving of the jobless bill; I wonder if you have anything to say on the strike situation?

THE PRESIDENT. No, the Secretary of Labor is working on the situation and I think he will bring it to a successful conclusion.

Q. Can you tell us anything on the increase of wages at all?

THE PRESIDENT. I would rather not make a comment on it now.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, what are the chances of the United Nations headquarters being in the United States?

THE PRESIDENT. That is a matter that will be up to the United Nations to be settled by vote. They're welcome to come to the United States if they so desire.

[18.] Q. I may have misunderstood you, but do you, by your Downey reference, do you mean to say that you have no views on the subject of the Downey bill?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment to make on the Downey bill.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, has this disposition of the remainder of the German fleet been worked out?

THE PRESIDENT. The disposition was worked out at Berlin. It was to be divided into three sections, one to go to Russia, one to Great Britain, and one to the United States.

Q. Will that same split likely be made with the Japanese fleet?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that until I have more information.

[20.] Q. What about General Eisenhower's new directive on Germany?

THE PRESIDENT. He is following out the directive he received from the Potsdam conference--I like to call it the Berlin conference.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, do you favor sharing the atomic bomb with other nations?

THE PRESIDENT. I will answer that question in my message to Congress.

[22.] Q. Anything on the Labor conference agenda?

THE PRESIDENT. You better speak to the Secretary on that.

[23.] Q. How do you feel about the Alaska statehood question?

THE PRESIDENT. Of course when Alaska is ready for statehood, it will be given to her.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's twenty-seventh news conference was held in his office at the White House at 10:05 a.m. on Wednesday, September 26, 1945. The White House Official Reporter noted that the following special guests attended this conference: "Governor [Ransome J.] Williams of Southern Carolina; Mayor H. L. Smith, Georgetown, S.C.; Mr. Julian Mitchell, Chairman of the Board, National Banks, S.C.; Mr. B.M. Dewards, President of all National Banks, S.C.; Mr. Arthur Simmons, Chairman of the Board, Ports Authority; Mr. James Smith, State Auditor; Mr. Morrison Tuten, Chairman, Ways and Means Committee; Mr. Thaddeus Street; Mr. Milton Pearlstine, on Ports Authority; Mr. Robert Figg, Solicitor of S.C.; Mr. Coatsworth Means, Director, Ports Authority; Mr. Howard Danna, Ports Authority; Hon. J. D. Parler, State Senator, S.C.; Hon. Solomon Blatt, Speaker of House of Representatives."

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/230421

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