Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

August 02, 1951

THE PRESIDENT. I have no announcements to make. If you have questions, I will answer them.

[1.] Q. I'll start it, Mr. President--last week you said you were looking into Chairman Boyle's connection with the RFC loan to American Lithofold. What have you found out about it?

THE PRESIDENT. I'm still looking.

Q. Still looking?

THE PRESIDENT. I'll answer it when I get the information. 1

1 See Item 188 [3].

Q. Do you favor a Senate investigation of that loan ?

THE PRESIDENT. That's up to the Senate.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Mundt has been advocating an alliance between Dixiecrats and northern Republicans to support a presidential ticket in 1952. Do you believe that that has any chance of success ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that. That is a little bit outside my sphere. That is between Mundt and the Dixiecrats.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, in view of your statement that prices would probably rise under this new bill--in view of the fact that they already are--do you believe that it is possible to hold wages in line?

THE PRESIDENT. I think I made that perfectly clear in the statement that I released. If you will read that carefully, you will find that that ground is fully covered.2

2 See Item 176.

Q. Mr. President, you indicated in that statement that you believed wage controls might have to be increased. Would you expand on that? Do you believe the 10 percent limit on wage increases should be removed?

THE PRESIDENT. The statement speaks for itself, and if you read it carefully you wouldn't have to ask me questions like that, because it's answered in the statement.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, in setting up the Small Defense Plants Administration, how soon do you intend to do that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Just as quickly as I can get it done.

Q. Do you have any candidates in mind ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't, but there will be plenty of them.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, last week, an old friend, the Reverend Dr. Daniel Poling was nominated for mayor on the Republican ticket in Philadelphia. I wonder if you have any comment about it ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am very fond of the good Baptist preacher. Of course, when it comes to electing Democrats and Republicans, I always have to be for the Democrat.

[6.] Q. May I ask another question, sir? Today Mr. Hoover urged Republicans that their campaign next year should be "Expose-Oppose Propose." Do you think that is a good slogan ?

THE PRESIDENT. I like the last word, they have never done that yet. [Laughter]

[7.] Q. I have a couple more--

THE PRESIDENT. Go ahead--go ahead--ask them.

Q.--Mr. Baruch,3 on coming back from Europe, said that he thought the people who are trying to get General Eisenhower away from--interested in politics instead of his present job, are doing the country a disservice; and he said that Eisenhower was on the greatest crusade since Peter the Hermit. Do you have any comment on that?

3 Bernard M. Baruch of New York.

THE PRESIDENT. I think General Eisenhower is doing a magnificent job in Europe, and I hope he continues to do that job. And I think he will.

Q. As long as he is--necessary for him to do it?

THE PRESIDENT. What's that?

Q. As long as it is necessary for him to do it, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. I wonder whether, Mr. President--if we could get Mr. Romagna 4 to repeat that--

4Jack Romagna, White House Official Reporter.

Q. Can't hear.

THE PRESIDENT. I can repeat it for you. I think the question that he asked me was if I had any comment on what Mr. Baruch said when he returned from Europe, which was that General Eisenhower was doing a most magnificent job since Peter the Hermit; and he asked me if I thought General Eisenhower would continue to do that job, and I said I thought he would, as long as it was necessary.

Q. I also said that those who were trying to distract him away from his job were doing the country a disservice ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that.

[8.] Q. May I get in my last question, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes--go ahead.

Q. Mr. President, there have been some suggestions that--the controversy over the Illinois judgeships--in your controversy with Senator Douglas, that your political intentions in 1952 might be involved?

THE PRESIDENT. I have appointed judges for Illinois, and that is as far as I intend to go on it. 5

5 See Item 165 [8].

[9.] Q. Mr. President, have you given any more thought recently to your trip across the country?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I expect to go to San Francisco on the 4th of September, to address the United Nations Japanese Peace Conference.

Q. Do you expect to make any side trips ?

THE PRESIDENT. I expect to fly--I expect to fly.

Q. Mr. President, my understanding is that we might fly out one day and come back the next ?

THE PRESIDENT. That's probably right.

Q. Mr. President, you said you expect to go out September 4th. Do you mean the 4th to open the conference

THE PRESIDENT. I am going out there for the purpose of opening the conference--

Q. You are not going out to sign, you will open--

THE PRESIDENT. I am going out to open the conference. We have a delegation there that will do the signing.

Q. Mr. President, does that preclude any likelihood of a whistle-stop tour this fall?

THE PRESIDENT. It does, at this particular time.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, I just wonder if, without laboring the point too much--if you could say what type of inquiry you are making into Mr. Boyle's case ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am trying to find the facts, just as I do in every case.

Q. You couldn't tell us the physical--

THE PRESIDENT. No. I will answer the question when I know the facts.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think of Senator Connally's position, that the ECA shouldn't be active in the Far East? 6

THE PRESIDENT. I am very sorry that Senator Connally took that position.

6On July 30 Senator Tom Connally of Texas, Chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, opposed plans of the Economic Cooperation Administration to extend U.S. economic aid to Asia.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, did you talk to John Nangle about that St. Louis--

THE PRESIDENT. No, I did not.

Q. Or Jim McGranery?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I did not. 7

7 John J. Nangle, Democratic national committee-man from Missouri, and Judge James P. McGranery, United States District Court, Eastern District of Pennsylvania.

Q. Mr. President, this question--

THE PRESIDENT. This young man has been on his feet for a long time, Eddie.8 Let's give him a chance and then I will recognize you.

8 Edward T. Folliard of the Washington Post.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, sources from Geneva this morning--United States sources--say that the foreign policy of the United States is going to include land reforms for Asia, Africa, and Latin America?

THE PRESIDENT. The United States delegation at Geneva has instructions to discuss land reforms in those areas.

Eddie, what was your question ?

[14.] Q. Mr. President, the question is bound to arise--how long do you think it would be necessary for General Eisenhower to remain in Europe?

THE PRESIDENT. Well now, Eddie, your guess is as good as mine. If you are referring to possibilities in 1952, I don't think those duties will interfere with that, if the General is in that frame of mind.

Q. Yes, sir.

Q. Mr. President, can we quote that?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon?

Q. Can we quote that?

THE PRESIDENT. No, you can't quote it. Use it just like you would every other question.

Q. Would you repeat it again?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, Eddie asked me if I thought Eisenhower's duties would be prolonged, and I said that I didn't think it would interfere with things that might happen in 1952, if General Eisenhower happened to be in that frame of mind.

Q. Thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. But I think General Eisenhower, under any conditions, would put duty to the country first. [Pause]

THE PRESIDENT. Well, gentlemen ? [Laughter]

[15.] Q. Mr. President, this is merely intended to be a historical question, not a leading question. Earlier in this century, there was quite a public movement on behalf of a presidential primary system--presidential preferential primary--in some States. Apparently it didn't extend to much more than about a third of the States. Did you ever have a general view or thought as to the desirability of a presidential preferential primary system ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I think one presidential election is enough.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and seventy-third news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, August 2, 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/230523

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