Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

October 26, 1950

THE PRESIDENT. Please be seated. I have no special announcements to make this morning, but I will try, so far as I can, to answer questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, there is a report from Rio to the effect that there have been some diplomatic conversations regarding a possible visit to the United States of the apparent President-elect Vargas before his inauguration in January. Has that received your attention, or do you wish to comment?

THE PRESIDENT. It has not come to my attention as yet.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, now that the answer to the Bell report has been released, may we have the Bell report?1

THE PRESIDENT. I am very sorry that the purported answer to the Bell report has been released. As I told you last week, we were trying desperately to work out a practical approach to implementing the Bell report. And we can't do it in the newspapers, I am sorry to say. As soon as it is expedient, I will be glad to let you have the Bell report, but I can't do it now.

1On October 25 the Office of Public Information in Malacanan Palace, President Quirino's official residence, made public a statement credited to an unnamed Philippine commentator commenting adversely on the Bell Mission's findings. On October 27 President Quirino repudiated the statement and expressed his regrets to the U.S. Ambassador.

See also Items 180 and 238 [5].

[3.] Q. Mr. President, the Gray report2--has that been received by you yet?

THE PRESIDENT. No. The Gray report is not ready yet. It has not been presented to me.

2 See Item 282.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, do you care to comment on a story in the papers this morning that you might call Congress back on the 8th--no, the 12th--before the 27th of November?

THE PRESIDENT. There has been some discussion between one or two of the leaders-the Vice President particularly, and myself-on the advisability of calling them back, at least a week or 10 days before the date they set, because it only gives them about 2½ weeks of actual working time if they come back here on the 27th. I haven't come to a conclusion yet as to whether to call them back. I intend to consult with the congressional leaders and get their opinions on the subject, before a decision is reached. Just a matter of having a little more working time, that's all. They have quite a bit to do.

Q. Mr. President, at any rate, whatever your decision is, do you anticipate issuing the call before election ?

THE PRESIDENT. The call will be issued when I make the decision, whether it is before or after the election.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, do you believe that Congress can enact a rent control law in that 2 1/2 weeks?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't know whether they can or not. There are other things that are just as important as the rent control law. The statehood for Alaska and Hawaii are vitally important, and then the excess profits tax is exceedingly important. I have a whole list of things that they will want to look into, and I will give you that list if I do decide to call them back.

Q. In that connection, Mr. President, can you say when you consider uncontrolled business rents an inflationary factor, and whether or not you plan to ask for rent controls on commercial properties ?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't gone into any details on that. I don't think I can answer that question intelligently.

[6].Q. Mr. President, the delegates of the Inter-American Press Conference, who had expected to visit you, were in Washington during your absence. Did you have a chance to acquaint yourself with their work, or have you any ideas about their activities, which was to organize an inter-American press association--

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't gone into it, but I think it is a good idea.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, last night Harold Stassen, president of the University of Pennsylvania, said in a radio address that after the election the Truman administration plans to quietly embrace the regime of Mao Tse-tung, and to encourage the seating of Communist China in the United Nations. Do you have any comment, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I wonder where he got his information? I believe he must have gotten that from Gabrielson.3 He didn't get it from me. [Laughter]

3 Guy G. Gabrielson, Chairman of the Republican National Committee.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, from your reply I may be taking some risk in asking this question [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know why.

Q.--but John Gunther has written an article, in which he said that General MacArthur knew nothing about plans for dropping the atomic bomb on Japan. Do you have any comment, or can you throw any light on that?

THE PRESIDENT. It just isn't true.

Q. Not true?

THE PRESIDENT. It's just not true.

Q. He did know?

THE PRESIDENT. Of course he did. He had to make the order. I gave the order to him and he gave the order to the men to drop the bomb. How do you suppose you transact business militarily? [Laughter]

[9.] Q. Mr. President, you sent Congress a memorandum connected with the dispersal of Government buildings in Washington, and since then, so far as I know, it has either been pigeonholed or nothing has happened. Are you satisfied with what is--

THE PRESIDENT. It is not pigeonholed. I will continue to press it. It is logical, practical, and should be done.

Q. You are not dropping it?

THE PRESIDENT. Not at all.

[10.] Q. Do you have any comment to make on the Philippine answer to the Bell report?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I have no comment.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, at Gordon Dean's press conference the other day, he was asked if we had any more evidence of Russian development of another atomic explosion since your last statement. I was just wondering if you would tell us anything? He referred the matter to you.

THE PRESIDENT. No, I don't know anything to tell you, so I can't tell you anything.

Q. You mean you have no further evidence?

THE PRESIDENT. No further information on the subject at all.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, may I ask another question?


Q. As the United Nations forces seem to be very close to the Manchurian border, I wonder if you can say, sir, whether we plan to go directly to the border? There have been several reports that we might not go that far.

THE PRESIDENT. My understanding is that the Korean divisions will occupy the Korean border on the Korean side.

Q. Not the American troops?

THE PRESIDENT. No. That is my understanding.

Q. Does that apply also to the Soviet frontier-Siberian frontier?

THE PRESIDENT. It's the whole northern frontier of Korea.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, just to make that last question completely clear to us, does that mean that so far as our Government knows, there has only been one atomic explosion in Russia?

THE PRESIDENT. That is so far as I know. The one that was publicly reported.4 That's correct.

4 For the statement by the President announcing the first atomic explosion in the Soviet Union, see the 1949 volume, this series, Item 216.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, the people of Holland are afraid for war. Would you know if this question is right--could you give an idea if they are in danger for this winter? Is it expected anything from Russia in the Western Europe?

THE PRESIDENT. No, we do not expect it.

Q. I didn't get that question.

THE PRESIDENT. He wanted to know if we anticipate trouble in Western Europe this coming winter, and I said we do not expect it.


THE PRESIDENT. Well? Well? You are running dry? [Laughter]

[15.] Q. Mr. President, Bill Boyle yesterday said he had urged you very strongly to make some campaign speeches between now and election time, and he indicated you might tell us your plans this morning?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, to tell you the honest truth, I have been urged by the National Chairman--as he should--in an endeavor to do what I can to elect a Democratic ticket, to make some political speeches. I have not yet made up my mind to do it. Should I make up my mind to make one or two, I will give you plenty of notice so that you can pack your bags and do whatever is necessary.

Q. Well, Mr. President--

Q. Mr. President--excuse me--

THE PRESIDENT. What is it?

Q.--does that mean that if you do decide to make some political speeches that you might make them out of town?

THE PRESIDENT. No. No. I didn't mean to imply that. I have had under consideration seriously making just one, and possibly make that from here, but I haven't even made up my mind.

What is it?

[16.] Q. I just wondered where you would be on election day? I think that's a safe bet.

THE PRESIDENT. I will be in Independence, casting my vote.

Q. The confusion, Mr. President, was that you said something about packing our bags.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, you know, you fellows always want some excuse to go somewhere. [Laughter]

Q. I'll say, sir, after Wake Island, that I am satisfied to stay here. [More laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. I know you will pack your bags and go to Kansas City, because Barney Allis5 always feeds you.

5Proprietor of the Muehlebach Hotel in Kansas City, Mo.

Q. Mr. President, on election day will you cast your vote and then come back here, or will you stay out there?

THE PRESIDENT. I will be back immediately--I will be back immediately. The family can't go. They are going to vote absentee. But I will go out there. I promised to go out there and accept for the city of Independence one of the Liberty Bells which a little village in France gave to the city of Independence.6 I will do that on the 6th and then return home on the 7th. You will have to get up early, if you want to see me. I shall vote and leave there.

6 See Item 281

[17.] Q. Mr. President, will you make your usual Monday night talk on the radio?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think so.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, will any reporters get a chance to go away--I wonder if we will have a chance to go to Key West in November?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think there is a chance, because I can't leave here with Congress in session. Congress will be in session in November, at least we know on the 27th, and will be in constant session until just time to adjourn for Christmas, and I will have to be here for all that time. I am sorry to say we won't go to Key West, I don't think, this year.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and fortythird news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, October 26, 1950.

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/230402

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