Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

June 21, 1951

THE PRESIDENT. That clock is 7 minutes fast! [Laughter]

I have no announcements to make. If you want to ask me some questions, I will try to answer them.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to do anything about the United Airline pilots strike?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at present.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, have you any comment on General MacArthur saying that you silenced pertinent witnesses--

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Mr. President, may I ask another question?

Q. What was the answer?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Mr. President, as a President who has had some experience, what do you think of General MacArthur's whistle-stop speeches?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that, either. [Laughter]

[3.] Q. Mr. President, there are reports--new reports--of a projected peace proposal by the United Nations in the Korean struggle. The reports say that such a proposal will be made this weekend.

THE PRESIDENT. It has not been taken up with me. I can't comment on it. I think a thing of that kind would come to me before any action was taken on it.

[4.] Q. Would you tell us, Mr. President, something about your talk last night with the President of Ecuador, and your impressions of him ?

THE PRESIDENT. I think very highly of the President of Ecuador. We had very pleasant conversations, and I enjoyed the visit with him very much. I think he is a good man who is anxious to do the right thing.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, do you think it will be possible for you--the executive branch of the Government--to control prices and hold back inflation under the control bill as it is taking shape now in the Senate and Home banking committees ?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know what shape that bill will be in until it comes to me for signature. I will comment on it completely and thoroughly at that time. You can't tell what a bill will contain until it has gone through conference, and been passed by both Houses. You can't comment on a bill in the committee.1

1See Items 140 [2], 176.

Q. The Senate gave us a rather broad hint.

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer the hint. I want to see the bill.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, in your talks with the Ecuadoran President, did you come to any mutual understanding on economic or military matters, or other matters ?

THE PRESIDENT. We have not talked on business matters at all. This is purely social. He will see me Friday to talk business matters which he came to see me about. We will probably issue a communique on it. 2

2 See Items 140 [2], 176.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, was Jonathan Daniels acting on anything more than reportorial instinct when he said that you would be a candidate again ?

THE PRESIDENT. I think you state the case exactly. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, do you think Mr. McCardle 3 stated the case, or Mr. Daniels?

3Carl W. McCardle of the Philadelphia Evening Bulletin.

THE PRESIDENT. I don't understand what you are talking about.

Q. You said that you thought somebody had stated the case exactly.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I thought this reporter stated the case correctly. [Laughter]

Q. This reporter? Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. You mixed me up a little bit.

Q. I meant to, sir.

THE PRESIDENT. I was sure of that! [More laughter]

[8.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with the visit of the President of Ecuador, do you have a feeling that inter-American relations generally are on a good plane?


Q. You signed the charter recently--the OAS? 4

THE PRESIDENT. I think the inter-American relationship is on a better plane than it has ever been in history, and I hope to keep it that way, as far as I am concerned.

4 See Item 125.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, I wonder if you would mind telling us what you will see the Joint Chiefs of Staff about this afternoon?

THE PRESIDENT. Just seeing the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, on the floor of the Senate this week, Senator McCarthy said that General Marshall was masterminding a great conspiracy here, of which you were unaware. Would you care to comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I don't know how the Senator can read my mind.

Q. We didn't get that reply, Mr. President

THE PRESIDENT. I said I didn't see how anybody can read my mind. I said the Senator--I don't see how anybody can read my mind. It is very difficult, as Mr. Lawrence 5 over here found out. [Laughter]

5 William H. Lawrence of the New York Times

[11.] Q. Mr. President, do you see any possibility of improvement in the Iranian oil situation ?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't hear that question, will you please repeat it?

Q. Do you see any possibility of improvement in the Iranian oil situation ?

THE PRESIDENT. I think the Secretary of State commented on that yesterday fully. 6

6 peaking at his news conference on June 20, Secretary of State Dean Acheson described the Iranian oil situation as critical, and appealed to Iran to reconsider her rejection of the Anglo-Iranian Oil Company's offer of 10 million pounds as a first step toward settlement of the nationalization dispute.

Mr. Acheson said that the United States had hoped that the British financial offer would provide a basis for fruitful negotiations that not only would be agreeable to the British company but also would recognize the desire of the Iranians for the nationalization of their oil resources.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, are you ready yet to fill those judgeship vacancies in Illinois-northern Illinois?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I am not. Whenever I am ready, I will let you know.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, have you anything to say about the cuts which now have been written into the appropriation bill?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment, for the simple reason that the bill has not come to me for consideration as yet, at which time I will make the necessary comment.

Q. Pretty definite pattern there--

THE PRESIDENT. You can't tell what a bill will be until it has passed both Houses.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the arrest of 21 more Communists in New York --

THE PRESIDENT. Will you please repeat the question, I didn't hear?

Q. Would you care to comment on the arrest yesterday of 21 more Communists under the Smith Act?

THE PRESIDENT. I still couldn't hear the question. Will you talk into that microphone, so we can all hear? I'm sorry.

Q. Would you care to comment on the arrest yesterday of 21 more Communists under the Smith Act?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. [Laughter]

[15.] Q. Mr. President, in relation to the appropriation bill--putting it a little this way--do you, as the Chief Executive, believe the Government can operate efficiently with 10 percent less employees?

THE PRESIDENT. I will answer that when the bill comes before me in its final form.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, the CIO released today a statement by Phil Murray,7 urging you to issue an order for a national emergency FEPC at the earliest possible moment. Do you plan to do that?

THE PRESIDENT. The request has not reached me yet.

7 Philip Murray, president of the Congress of Industrial Organizations.

Q. If it should reach you, are you likely--

THE PRESIDENT. I will not--no comment on that.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, were you wearing a straw hat from Ecuador yesterday? Someone said that the President had given you--

THE PRESIDENT. I was wearing a straw hat from Ecuador that I have had for about 3 years. It is still in good shape. [Laughter]

Q. Who gave it to you, do you recall ?

THE PRESIDENT. It was sent to me from Ecuador by somebody who went down there on a visit, from some official who wanted to be kind to the President. But it is a good hat. [Laughter]

[18.] Q. Mr. President, are you going whistle-stopping this summer or fall?

THE PRESIDENT. Going what?

Q. Whistle-stopping?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I can't answer that question until I find out what the Congress is going to do, as we still have an immense amount of legislation that has to be passed. I have to stay here until it is passed.

Q. You mean that you will wait for Congress to act, not necessarily pitching the trip on what Congress actually does ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, no, I can't do anything until Congress gets through its action.

Q. Do you have any more fashion notes for us, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. None at all. [Laughter]

Reporter: Thank you, sir.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and sixty-seventh news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 10:37 a.m. on Thursday, June 21, 1951.

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/230198

Filed Under



Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives