Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

September 21, 1950

THE PRESIDENT. Be seated, please. I have no special announcements to make, so I will listen for questions.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, General Marshall, before the Senate committee, disclaimed personal responsibility for our China policy of 1946.

THE PRESIDENT. He was not Secretary of State at that time. He was a special envoy of mine and he went there for the Secretary of State and myself, and he had his instructions and they are in writing.

Q. Yes sir.

[2.] Q. Mr. Truman, have you any comment to make on whether you will veto the antisubversive bill? 1

THE PRESIDENT. It hasn't reached me yet, and I will not keep you in suspense. I will let you have the answer just as quickly as the bill gets on my desk.

1 See Item 254.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, have you any comment on certain Democratic Senators whose record on foreign affairs voting equals or surpasses that of Senator Taft?

THE PRESIDENT. I think you will find that there are very few, and I think you will find that there are more Republicans who voted the fight way than there are Democrats who went wrong, so it is still a bipartisan foreign policy.

Q. Mr. President, do you subscribe to what Mr. Harriman had to say about Senator Taft's voting record? 2

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I do. The record will speak for itself.

2 In an address before the American Federation of Labor convention in Houston on September 19, W. Averell Harriman, Special Assistant to the President, stated that Communist objectives would have been furthered had Congress followed Senator Robert A. Taft's opposition to the Marshall plan and the North Atlantic Treaty.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, will you appoint an NLRB general counsel before recess?

THE PRESIDENT. If I can find the right man, I will not hesitate to appoint him. I have several people under consideration.3

Q. What was that?

THE PRESIDENT. I say I have several people under consideration.

3 See Item 258 [1].

Q. Could you tell us who--

THE PRESIDENT. No names mentioned. [Laughter]

[5.] Q. Mr. President, there are a number of pending appointments in the economic setup, and also in the Under Secretary of Defense--Deputy Secretary. Are you anywhere near filling those?

THE PRESIDENT. I am going to fill them just as quickly as I can find the men for the places. There will be no delay, if I can help it.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, regarding the stabilization agency. What can you say about the stabilization agency that you ordered created by Executive order, September 9th 4--

THE PRESIDENT. You want to know who the stabilization director will be? I can't tell you at this minute.

4 Executive Order 10161 "Delegating Certain Functions of the President Under the Defense Production Act of 1950" (3 CFR, 1949-1953 Comp., p. 339).

[7.] Q. Mr. President, I would like to come down to the cost of living, if I may. Most people's wages are not going up, and most people's food expenses, particularly, are going up very fast.

THE PRESIDENT. I agree with that--

Q. Do you have any plans--

THE PRESIDENT. --I agree with that. Yes, we are working on plans all the time to meet that situation.

Q. Could you tell us how soon--how?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't. I can't tell you how soon. I am no prophet. I work to the point and as soon as I get there, I will act. And as soon as I act, then you will know all about it. And I am going to do it as expeditiously as I can, but it has to be done in an orderly manner.

We are trying to avoid the mistakes which were made at the beginning of the Second World War. I was present at that time. And we are trying to attain the position which we held when that war was over, without going through all the travail--the travail and the trial and error business which had to be gone through at that time because we didn't know how.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, there is worldwide interest in the reports of the scarcity in wool and possible international arrangements regarding the wool trade. Has that received your consideration?

THE PRESIDENT. That has not reached my desk as yet. It probably will be there. Everything finally arrives there. [Laughter]

[9.] Q. Mr. President, getting back to prices, Chester Bowles5 saw you yesterday, and afterwards he said that he had outlined to you, and he favored very strongly, the imposition of selective controls on basic commodities just as soon as possible. Do you favor the same thing?

THE PRESIDENT. That has been discussed throughout the Government, and we haven't arrived at a conclusion on it as yet. We are working as hard as we can to meet the situation as we find it.

5 Governor of Connecticut and former head of the World War II Office of Price Administration.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, have you any comment on the meeting of the foreign ministers in New York?

THE PRESIDENT. I think they are making great progress, and I think before they get through they will have attained their objectives. It takes time to do things like that.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, it now looks as though Congress will quit this week. Do you have any comment to make on the record of this Congress compared with the previous Congress--

THE PRESIDENT. This Congress has given me what I asked for substantially. There are some things, of course, that aren't finished as yet, but I am very well pleased with the progress that this Congress has made, and I think they feel like they have accomplished the purpose for which they met. And now they want to go home and attend to a little private business--and I am for them. [Laughter]

[12.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to do any campaigning ?

THE PRESIDENT. What?

Q. Do you plan to do any campaigning?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no plans.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, have you decided what our troops will do when they reach the 38th parallel in Korea?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have not. That is a matter for the United Nations to decide. That is a United Nations force, and we are one of the many who are interested in that situation. It will be worked out by the United Nations and I will abide by the decision that the United Nations makes.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, are you naming Sarah Hughes of Dallas to the Federal Trade Commission?

THE PRESIDENT. Naming who?

Q. Sarah Hughes?

THE PRESIDENT. She is under consideration.

Q. Who?

THE PRESIDENT. Sarah Hughes of Texas, to the Federal Trade Commission.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, Congress completed action Tuesday, I believe, on a bill occasioned by deportation proceedings against a Dr. Mario Pianetto. Has that come to your attention?

THE PRESIDENT. No, it hasn't--no, it hasn't.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, I perceive the presence in the room of a group of distinguished journalists from many foreign countries. Do you wish to make any comment with reference to their visit here ?

THE PRESIDENT. I am more than happy that they are here. I expect to meet them all after this press conference is over, and ask them how they liked the greatest show in Washington. [Laughter] [Pause here]

Reporter: A little brief today--thank you.

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right!

Note: President Truman's two hundred and fortieth news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday, September 21, 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/230262

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