Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

May 29, 1952

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] Well, the Navy clock 1 was on time this time, so I am on time. [Laughter]

Please be seated.

1 See item 136 [1].

I want to express my appreciation for the attendance of the NATO editors. I hope they will enjoy the conference, and I hope they will also enjoy their entire visit here in this country, and get some information that will be of value to them.

[2.] There has been some discussion about the arrival of General Eisenhower. As soon as he gets through with the "One More Club" down at the airport, he is going to come up to the White House and pay his courtesy call on the President and make his report to me.

Any questions you want to ask? I will try to answer them if I can.

Q. Mr. President, that will be in your office, I assume, rather than.--

THE PRESIDENT. It will be in my study in the White House.

Q. In the White House?


Q. Mr. President, do you plan to see him again before he leaves town.


Q.--Tuesday ?

THE PRESIDENT. --yes, I expect to see him again. What do you want, Duke? 2

2 Duke Shoop of the Kansas City Star.

Q. I want to clear up that you want to see him again on Monday?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh yes, I will see him on Monday.

Q. Are you finished with General Eisenhower now ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. Unless you fellows want some more information.

[3.] Q. Down in Missouri last week a party leader said that you had inferred to him that you were for the Attorney General of Missouri for nomination for the Senate, and that you were not for Mr. Symington. 3

THE PRESIDENT. I am going to vote for the Attorney General when it comes my time to vote. I am taking no personal interest in the primary or any activity in it, but I shall support "Buck" Taylor.

3 J.E. Taylor, Attorney General of Missouri, and W. Smart Symington, former Administrator of the Reconstruction Finance Corporation, were both candidates in the Democratic primary in Missouri.

Q. Is that J. E. "Buck" Taylor?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, J. E. Taylor. Everybody calls him "Buck."

[4.] Q. Mr. President, I hate to bring this up at a time like this with the NATO editors here, but Congressman Poage of Texas made a speech to the House yesterday-it's in the Congressional Record 4 --in which he said he imagined that the nations of the world with whom we are now negotiating treaties might be reluctant to sign up with us since you, in vetoing the tidelands bill, repudiated an international treaty made with the Republic of Texas.

THE PRESIDENT. I have not read the speech, and the veto message covers that very ground. You read the message 5 and you won't have to ask me that question.

4 Volume 98, page 6190.

5 See Item 146.

Q. I did.

THE PRESIDENT. You read the message.

Q. I have.

THE PRESIDENT. Then you won't have to ask any comment from me. That covers it.

Q. Well, no sir, if you don't mind my saying so--and I read the message, and I discussed my question with Congressman Poage before I came, and I discussed the veto message; and we are still puzzled.

THE PRESIDENT. You shouldn't be. Read it carefully. If you understand English you can't be puzzled.

[5.] Q. Anything you would care to say, Mr. President, about the disposition of the mutual security bill ?


Q. You said a lot about it already, sir, but the Senate passed it last night and cut it 200 million.

THE PRESIDENT. I think I made myself perfectly clear three different times, if you will hunt up those comments.

Q. I thought I would give you another chance.

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have said enough. I will attend to the rest of it when the bill gets to me. 6

6 On June 20, 1952, the President approved the Mutual Security Act of 1952 (66 Stat. 141).

[6.] Q. Mr. President, I want to be clear. You are going to see General Eisenhower Sunday ?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

Q. And you were asked if you were going to see him again Tuesday?

THE PRESIDENT. No, no, I was asked if I was going to see him again, and I said yes.

Q. I asked were you going to see him again before he leaves Tuesday.

THE PRESIDENT. That's right.

Q. Before he leaves Tuesday. I see.

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know what time. He has got a tremendous number of engagements before he leaves town. Whenever it is convenient, I will see him--if it is necessary for me to see him, I will see him.

[7.] Q. Also I would like to ask you, have you been informed about this kangaroo that is being sent you from--

THE PRESIDENT. No. I saw a picture in the paper of a kangaroo that was purported to be on its way here. 7 I thought maybe I would give it to the press conference. [Laughter]

7 The 14-month-old albino kangaroo, the only one in captivity, was a gift from Australia to the people of the United States.

Joseph H. Short (Secretary to the President): Well, Mr. President, I have been neglectful. I haven't kept you up to date on the kangaroo. I'm sorry, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. I saw about it in the paper.

Q. Mr. President, that kangaroo doesn't have any name, and you are very good at naming dinosaurs, I thought you might have a name for the kangaroo?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't seen the kangaroo. I don't know whether it's a lady or a gentleman. I will have to wait and find out.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, in recent days the situation in the negotiations in Korea and also the situation in Berlin seem to have deteriorated rather rapidly and drastically. I wonder if there is anything you could say on the world situation in the light of those two things ?

THE PRESIDENT. I cannot comment on it until I have had an interview with Dean Acheson.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, in relation to your speech to the electric consumers, 8 do I understand that you think the public ought to own all of the production of electric power ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I don't think any such thing. And I didn't say any such thing, and I didn't imply any such thing.

8 See Item 143.

Q. I want to clear that up.


Q. Do you think the public should own all of the utilities of the country?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't say that. I didn't say anything like that. When I get ready to make a power speech, it will be perfectly plain to you. I am not going to make the speech here now for you, so you will just have to wait.

Q. I did read your speech. I want to clear up what you meant.

THE PRESIDENT. You read it again. I didn't make any such statement as you are trying to imply.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, Mr. Churchill told the House of Commons that the situation in Korea is very grave. Do you share that point of view?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't read the Prime Minister's speech or remarks, and I do not care to comment on that situation, as I said awhile ago, until I have a chance to discuss the matter with the Secretary of State. And he will be here Monday--maybe tomorrow-I don't know.

Mr. Short: Tomorrow morning.

THE PRESIDENT. Tomorrow morning, says Joe.

[11.] Q. Mr. President a few weeks ago you said you might hold Congress here in session from now until January if they don't cooperate on the mutual security and defense programs. Is that still your intention?

THE PRESIDENT. There are certain things that must be done no matter how long it takes, and I hope they will get them done before it is time for them to go to the conventions.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, Mr. Bernard Baruch yesterday told a Senate committee that he felt that the stretch-out program in national defense which he inferred was approved by both Congress and the administration, was a mistake. Do you agree that this stretch-out is a mistake?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. My action speaks for itself.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, do you intend to be near a television set Wednesday at seven?

THE PRESIDENT. Wednesday at seven ?

Q. That is when Ike has his homecoming at Abilene.

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't know it. I hadn't heard about it. I usually watch the television show, particularly watch it when Margaret is on.

Q. I don't know whether she'll be on then.

THE PRESIDENT. She is going to be on Thursday. [Laughter]

[14.] Q. Mr. President, I understand some historians saw you this morning about the disposition of your papers. Could you tell us something about that ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I was just discussing the historical disappearance of Presidential papers and discussing with them the best manner in which those papers and documents should be taken care of. They are going to furnish me with a memorandum as soon as they have a chance to discuss the matter among themselves.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, would you list some of these things that might keep Congress here ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. No, I will attend to that when the time comes, and I am not making any statements now because the Congress has plenty of time to act, and there's no use talking about it until they don't act. Then I will talk about it.

Q. Mr. President, both Delegate Farrington of Hawaii and Delegate Bartlett of Alaska have said that there is no hope for getting statehood through this session. Have you any comment to make on that ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am still for statehood and doing everything I can to get it through.

Q. Hawaii also? Same for Hawaii?

THE PRESIDENT. Both. Both. She mentioned both of them. I am for both of them and always have been.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, are there any outstanding examples of Presidential papers that have disappeared ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. The papers of Abraham Lincoln were scattered from one end of the country to the other, and that has happened in the case of a great many Presidents, all of whom I can't name here, but I have the list over at the office. And we have got a bill through the Congress authorizing the Archives to take charge of the Presidential papers, and also state papers of all the other officials of the Government, and see that they are available for future use for the Presidents and for historians. 9

9 Federal Records Act of 1950 (64 Stat. 583).

[17.] Q. Mr. President, one other thing. You were handing out so much news over there today--we missed Bill Boyle. 10 I was just wondering what the occasion was for his call? We didn't have a chance to talk to him.

THE PRESIDENT. Bill Boyle comes to see me whenever he feels like it. He is one of my best friends. He just came in to pay me a courtesy call. Had a very pleasant talk with him, too.

10 William M. Boyle, Jr., former chairman of the Democratic National Committee.

Q. Well, he was on the calling list, that is why I asked you. He hadn't been before.

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, he comes in every once in a while.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, this is by nature repetition. Do you care to name a candidate this week ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I don't expect to name any candidates. The Democratic convention is going to do that.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, about those papers again. Is it your desire to have them placed in a library in Independence?

THE PRESIDENT. NO, not a library in Independence. I hope to have an archives building in the nature of the Hyde Park arrangement, under the control of the Federal Government, and in its possession.

Q. Yes. Where will that be ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am contemplating a site about 9 miles south of Kansas City.

Q. That would be Grandview ?


[20.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Taft favored a billion dollar cut from the $6,900 million mutual security bill that was reported from the two Senate committees. Senator Brewster of Maine is one of Senator Taft's main supporters for the presidential nomination, yet he voted against every single foreign aid cut that was proposed. Would you say that he was being responsive to public opinion ?

THE PRESIDENT. I think probably I will answer that on the whistlestop campaign.

Q. Mr. President, when is that whistlestop campaign going to start--out of Washington?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I am not ready yet. I am going to give you plenty of time to pack your grips so you will be all right. That has to be done by invitation, you know. I am not a candidate this year.

Q. Yes sir. We understand that, sir. Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

Note: President Truman's three hundred and sixth news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, May 29, 1952.

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/230815

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