Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

July 05, 1951

THE PRESIDENT, Please be seated.

[1.] I understand that we have with us this morning some visiting editors from some of the NATO countries--France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Great Britain, Norway, and Luxembourg. We are glad to have them with us, and I will be glad to meet them after the press conference is finished.

I have nothing further to tell you, unless you want to ask some questions. [Pause] [Laughter]

Shall we adjourn the conference? [More laughter]

[2.] Q. Mr. President, the House begins consideration of the economic control bill today. Have you any fresh word to say about it--your hopes-

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have. I sincerely hope they will give us a workable controls bill along the lines of the message which I sent them on the subject.1

1 Item 91.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, Princess Elizabeth, the heir to the British throne, and her husband the Duke of Edinburgh are going to visit Canada in the next few months. There is some speculation in this country whether they will have an invitation to come here. Would you say anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no knowledge of their plans. Of course, they would be welcome to come here, but I will have to find out what their plans are, before we can take formal notice of the fact.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, do you intend to send another message to Congress on the controls bill ?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I do not. I have talked enough about it. I made some remarks about it last night, if you remember. I have written letters and done everything I can possibly do. I am going to keep on putting forth an effort to get a controls bill that will work.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, some weeks ago we had the pleasure of having Miss Truman with us. Did she make any statement to you about her impressions of our country?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't understand--I am sorry--I can't hear from back there.

Mr. Short 2: I wonder if you could come to one of the microphones there ?

THE PRESIDENT. Come to the microphone.

2 Joseph H. Short, Secretary to the President.

Q. Mr. President, I am coming from Luxembourg. Some weeks ago we had the pleasure to have Miss Truman with us. Didn't she make any statement to you about the impressions of our country?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, yes. She had a most cordial reception, and enjoyed the visit immensely. They were just as kind to her as they could be.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, there still seem to be lacking three Federal judges in the Northern District of Illinois--

THE PRESIDENT. They won't lack for long. [Laughter] You will know about them pretty soon.

What was your question?

[7.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment to make on the conviction of that AP reporter in Czechoslovakia--Oatis ?

THE PRESIDENT. The State Department issued a statement on the subject, which was submitted to me for approval, and I am in agreement with that statement. 3

3 William N. Oatis, Associated Press representative in Prague, was arrested on April 23, 1951. On July 4 he was found guilty of espionage and sentenced to 10 years' imprisonment, with 5 years off for good behavior. The Department of State release of July 4 called his trial a "ludicrous travesty of justice in which the victim was required to speak his prefabricated 'confession' as a part of a public spectacle exhibiting all the usual Communist trial techniques" (see Department of State Bulletin, vol. 25, p. 92). In 1953 Mr. Oatis was pardoned by the Czechoslovakian Government.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you feel now that you have compromised--[ inaudible ]-with Governor Turner of Oklahoma--[inaudible]--that came up here to save your control program?

Voices: Can't hear--can't hear.

THE PRESIDENT. Ask that question again--I think, if I understood you, you wanted to know if I had compromised with the beef people. I never had any idea--

Q. Not a compromise--

THE PRESIDENT. -- I never had any idea of compromising with them. I merely wanted to hear their side of the story. I wanted to get it down where they would have a fair hearing. I didn't enter into the thing only to see that they got a fair hearing. I approved the beef rollback, if you remember-which doesn't make me very popular with the cattlemen.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, may I put in and ask about a plug for Philadelphia? The Fourth of July, yesterday--I mean, a newspaper which shall be nameless-[laughter]--yesterday had a project which I--under the theme "United We Stand," in which we had a flag flown in by each--I mean, a star from each State, with a message from each Governor, and a bar from each of the Original Thirteen Colonies, and then a--the flag was raised by a halyard, made up from strands of the Army, Navy, and Air Force--this is a pretty long question--I wonder if you--[laughter interrupting]--


Q.--I wonder if you think it is a pretty good idea ? [More laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. If you will remember, when the matter was under discussion back some months ago, I requested the Chief Justice of the United States to act as chairman for the celebration of the 175th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence, which was yesterday. Then a commission was appointed, which consisted of the leaders on both sides of the House--in the House and in the Senate; and the result of that Commission's work, and the work of the Chief Justice, was the show put on at Philadelphia--which was a good one, the one that was put on here, and nearly every community in the United States-similar celebrations took place. 4 I am very much pleased with the results.

4 On July 3 the White House made public the report to the President by the Commission for the Commemoration of the 175th Anniversary of the Signing of the Declaration of Independence. The report stated, in part, that the program for the anniversary had as its principal aim the rededication by all Americans to the great basic principles of the Declaration. It noted that in response to the Commission's plea for national observance of these principles, more than 10,000 communities, including 73 metropolitan cities, had arranged special programs of rededication to be held on the Fourth of July.

Q. Mr. President, Merriman Smith is not going to like this, even in absentia-[laughter]--but when the time comes, we think we would like to have Harold Oliver of the AP say "Thank you, Mr. President." I don't think the time has arrived yet.

THE PRESIDENT. That is up to you--I will answer questions as long as I can.

Harold Oliver: Mr. President, at the risk of usurping authority, I will say "Thank you, sir". [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. I guess that will do it.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and sixty-ninth news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, July 5, 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/230308

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