Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

September 18, 1945

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I am reorganizing the Labor Department, putting all the functions of the War Labor Board, the War Manpower Commission, and the USES into the Labor Department, and transferring their functions to the Secretary of Labor, giving him all their powers and appropriations and everything else that goes with them; and eventually we will centralize every labor function in the Labor Department, so far as possible.

[2.] I am transferring OES, Office of Economic Stabilization, to War Mobilization and Reconversion; that is, to Mr. Snyder.

[3.] I signed the act providing for a single Surplus Property Administrator this morning. I appointed Stuart Symington to that job.

[4.] I received an acceptance from Judge Owen Roberts today to act as chairman of the committee to award Medals of Merit to civilians.

[5.] Now I have accepted the resignation of Mr. Stimson today as Secretary of War and appointed Robert P. Patterson to be Secretary of War. I accepted Mr. Stimson's resignation very reluctantly. I think he is one of our great public servants. I want to announce also that the Assistant Secretaries, John J. McCloy and Robert Lovett, sent me their resignations at the same time Mr. Stimson did, but I am not accepting them immediately.

[6.] I am appointing Senator Harold H. Burton of Ohio to be Associate Justice of the United States Supreme Court. [Subdued laughter and a surprised low whistle]

Q. Anything else, Mr. President ?

[7.] Q. We do have a question, Mr. President. I wonder if you can tell us what action the reorganized Labor Department might be taking in the Detroit situation.

THE PRESIDENT. That will be entirely in the hands of the Secretary of Labor, and he will take whatever action is necessary, whatever action he can, under the law.

Q. Do you plan to put the FEPC under the Labor Department, too?

THE PRESIDENT. If it belongs to the War Manpower Commission, that's where it will go.

[8.] Q. What happens to the Chairman of OES? 1

THE. PRESIDENT. The Chairman of the OES? Well, he won't have anything to do. John Snyder will take his job.

1 William H. Davis, Director, Office of Economic Stabilization.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, did you have any advance information, or know what General MacArthur said about the number of troops needed in Japan?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I didn't. I'm glad to see that the General won't need as many as he thought. He said first 500,000, later 400,000 and now 200,000. It helps to get as many more men out of the Army as possible.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, is there going to be any change in the Executive order of August 18 on the loan policy?


[11.] Q. May I follow that with another question, sir? Mr. Davis, who was Economic Stabilizer, some few days ago said it was planned to increase wages 50 percent in 5 years without increasing prices.

THE PRESIDENT. He wasn't speaking for the administration when he made that statement.

[12.] Q. With this cut in occupation troops in Japan, do you see an earlier end to the draft than previously?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that until I know the policy of the War Department and know how many troops of occupation are needed. The draft will not be continued any longer than is absolutely necessary.

Q. Is there any indication General Eisenhower's request for troops may be reduced?

THE PRESIDENT. There has been some indication of that--yes.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's twenty-sixth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Tuesday, September 18, 1945. The White House Official Reporter noted that the following special guests attended this conference: Lewis B. Schwellenbach, Secretary of Labor; John W. Snyder, Director, Office of War Mobilization and Reconversion; and David R. Calhoun of St. Louis.

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/231210

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