Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

March 09, 1950

THE PRESIDENT. I have no special announcements to make this afternoon. I will try to answer questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, may we take the appointment of Martin Hutchinson to the Federal Trade Commission as an indication of a trend; that is, of more top-level appointments among southern Truman men?

THE PRESIDENT. Why, I don't know whether to take it as a trend or not. I expect to appoint people on whose qualifies and qualifications I can depend.

Q. Can you find some more down South?

THE PRESIDENT. I believe I can. I am very sure I can. [Laughter]

[2.] Q. Mr. President, Ambassador Bay, Ambassador to Norway, was in to see you today. Is he going to be the new Chairman of the National Security Resources Board?

THE PRESIDENT. No. He is Ambassador to Norway, and he is going to stay Ambassador to Norway.

Q. Mr. President, what is the progress on the National Security Resources Board?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon?

Q. What is the progress on the National Security Resources Board?

THE PRESIDENT. One of these days I will make an announcement to you, and you will know all about it.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, when you are out West, are you going to do any campaigning in California for Senator Downey or his rival?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no intention of going to California.

Q. Mr. President, on the Western trip, Secretary Chapman said this morning that he expected you to go out to Grand Coulee, and possibly also to the dedication of a dam in Wyoming?

THE PRESIDENT. That trip has been only in the discussion stage. We hope to get it arranged for the first part of May, if that is possible. As soon as definite arrangements are made, why, I will announce it to you so you can have plenty of time to pack your grips.

Q. Is it your hope to take in the Chicago meeting also on the same trip?

THE PRESIDENT. There has been some talk on that subject.

Q. Is it definite

THE PRESIDENT. Nothing has been definitely arranged.

Q. Is it definite yet, Mr. President, on the Chicago stop ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. All this is tentative. As soon as we have the thing sewed up, why, I will announce it to you in a form that you will understand every word of it, so that you will have plenty of time to get ready.

Q. Mr. President, just to clarify my thinking on that--[laughter]--when you said that you are not going to California, does that rule out the November campaign in California?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no intention of going to California.

Q. You don't rule out the November campaign?

THE PRESIDENT. No, not necessarily.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, there is to be a meeting of the Inter-American Economic and Social Council here March 20, apparently with general representation from Latin America and a very active interest in the point 4 program, among other things. Has this conference required your official attention, or do you wish to make any observations about it ?

THE PRESIDENT. No. No, I do not.

Q. Any chance of your speaking at that meeting, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I hardly think so. If it is, it will be a long-distance speech. [Laughter]

[5.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the suggestion of Governor Luis Munoz Marin, to permit the people of Puerto Rico to adopt their own constitution?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment on that.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, any new nominations in mind for the Atomic Energy Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. No. If I have them, I will announce them to you in the beginning.

Q. There is a report that there is no intention of filling the full membership. Is that-anything to that?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't heard it. But you can hear anything--you can hear all sorts of rumors about anything you want to start. This is the best rumor town in the world. But I hadn't heard that one. That's a new one.

Q. What do you think of Senator Tyding's idea for one military but not more than two military men in regular service on that Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. I think that was settled by the 79th Congress, and then, you know, it was somewhat balled up by the 80th Congress; but that ruling of the 79th was my recommendation and still stands--civilian control of atomic energy.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, recently quite a good many European leaders expressed agreement with the idea of integration and unity of Europe. I wonder if you had read those statements, and whether you would comment--

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have, and I am very much pleased with the attitude of the European correspondents and editors who have been writing those articles. I think they are on the right track.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, has Congressman Sabath sold you on the idea of the Gossett-Lodge amendment?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't understand the question.

Q. Congressman Sabath is opposed to the idea of the Gossett-Lodge amendment, changing the method of election of a President? 1

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think he is opposed to it, but he told me the other day he was going to get a rule and let the House vote on it, which I hope he will do.

1See Item 29 [18].

[9.] Q. Mr. President, what do you think about the House action in approving statehood for Alaska and Hawaii?

THE PRESIDENT. I recommended it to them three different times.

Q. You are still for it?

THE. PRESIDENT. Why certainly! Can't change the Message on the State of the Union that quickly. [Laughter]

Q. Well, one of my editors wanted me to say it over again. [More laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right--that's all right.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, the House Judiciary Committee delayed a vote on the civil rights bill. I wonder if you plan to ask the chairman to bring that out?

THE PRESIDENT. I have been urging that that be brought out for--let me see--it has been about 5 years now, hasn't it? I am still urging it.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, there is a dispute in the House Labor Committee on Federal aid to education. There are two groups that seem to be for the general idea, but are conflicting in the nature of the bill. One of them--

THE PRESIDENT. I can't settle details and arguments.--

Q. I was going to ask whether you are for the Senate bill?

THE PRESIDENT. --I can't settle details and arguments between legislators as to how a bill is to be worded. I have expressed my opinion time and again on aid to education, and that opinion still stands as it was in the message each time.

[12.] Q. Have you any observations on Senator McCarthy's charges?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, no, I have no observations to make on it. I think the Senate committee is handling the situation very well.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, has the chairman of the Educational Labor Committee in the House assured you, like Mr. Sabath, that he would get the bill out?

THE PRESIDENT. He has been in touch with me that he is sure to get the bill out ever since the Senate bill went over to the House. I haven't had a recent conversation with him on the subject individually.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any observations on the British elections, now that it has--

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. That is the business of the British. I have no comment to make on their internal private affairs.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, there were reports a year or so ago, after a certain Navy ship went to Cuba, of various people aboard being seasick. Are any precautions being taken for the cruise next Sunday?

THE PRESIDENT. The "Doc" suggested a new medicine which he said is very good, so it will be available.

Q. Is it liquid? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it's a kind of tablet, about as big as your thumbnail. That could be followed by certain liquid refreshment. [Laughter]

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're entirely welcome.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and twentieth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4 p.m. on Thursday, March 9, 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/230730

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