The President's News Conference
THE PRESIDENT. Pease be seated.
Start in asking questions, and I will try to answer them.
[1.] Q. Mr. President, do you expect to deliver the State of the Union Message next month in person?
THE PRESIDENT. I do.
Q. You say you do, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I expect to deliver the State of the Union in person on January 8th, if we can get ready.
[2.] Q. Mr. President, there have been reports at the Capitol that you have on your desk a proposed reorganization plan which would substitute one administrator for the present five-man RFC board?
THE PRESIDENT. That is not true.
Q. Have you ever discussed that?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have--I have discussed it. In fact, I sent the reorganization plan down on the RFC, and it was turned down.1
1See Item 114.
Q. But you are not considering any new ones ?
THE PRESIDENT. No.[Pause]
What's the matter--what's the matter? Christmas holidays got you ? [Laughter]
[3.] Q. Well, I'll come up with one. Mr. President, on December 19th the Government asked that all prices be held to about the December 1st level. Then it froze the prices of automobiles. Now yesterday the Department of Labor reported that food prices are going up and up, sort of giving the impression that we are holding the line on Cadillacs but not on food. Would you care to comment?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment on that. The price control people are working as hard as they can to meet the situation. You have got to give them a chance to do it.
Q. On that point, Mr. President, there are laws, as I understand it, that forbid you from setting a ceiling on food, on account of parity. Are you interested in a change in the law--
THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that question because I haven't looked into it. I only know what I have seen in the papers. But I didn't read the law carefully when I signed it. [Laughter] I have somebody else to do that for me.
[4.] Q. Mr. President, one other RFC. question. If, as they have indicated, the Senate freezes your present plan, do you plan to resubmit the same plan?
THE PRESIDENT. I certainly do.[Pause]
There never was such a dry-- [Laughter]
Q. We're writing--we're writing.
[5.] Q. How about Herbert Hoover? 2
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I just want to say this, that the country is not going back to isolationism. You can be sure of that.
2 In a radio-television address over the Mutual Broadcasting System on December 20, President Hoover urged the United States to concentrate on preservation of the Western Hemisphere by holding the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans with the island outposts of Britain, Japan, Formosa, and the Philippines.
The full text of the former President's address is Published in the Congressional Record (vol. 96, P. A7879).
Q. Mr. President, would you like to comment on the results to this country, if you should take Mr. Hoover's advice? What would happen ?
THE PRESIDENT. Well now, I would have to make you a speech that would take all afternoon, and you haven't got time to listen to that.
Q. It's all right with me. [Laughter]
THE PRESIDENT. No, I will not comment further.
Q. Mr. President, is the White House mail running for or against Mr. Hoover's idea?
THE PRESIDENT. The White House mail is running for the President of the United States on that subject.
Q. Mr. President, do you consider his recommendations isolationism?
THE PRESIDENT. Nothing else. Read it carefully.
Q. I did.
THE PRESIDENT. All right.
[6.] Q. Mr. President, I have been asked to ask this question of you, so I will put it on that basis. [Laughter]
THE PRESIDENT. Go ahead--I won't scold you.
Q. There have been new reports today out of Tokyo stating that Chiang Kai-shek's forces are now preparing to invade the Chinese mainland, if they are given the green light by the United Nations and this country. Can you say, sir, whether there has been any contemplated change in the policy that you outlined some weeks ago regarding the isolation
THE PRESIDENT. I can't comment on that at this time. I'm sorry.
[7.] Q. Mr. President, have you any idea when your tax program might go to Congress?
THE PRESIDENT. Just as quickly as we can get it ready. I don't know how soon that will be. It takes quite a while to get a tax program in order. Just as soon as it is in order, and the committees in the Treasury are in substantial agreement on it, why we will send it up.
[8.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us what made you change your mind on sending an ambassador to Spain?3
THE PRESIDENT. I didn't change my mind. I stated it would be quite a while before an ambassador was appointed to Spain. The Secretary of State sent a letter to Senator Connally last January. We have been deliberating on it ever since. There is no change in policy with regard to Spain, except that we need an exchange of ambassadors which makes it a little more orderly way to do business with the two governments. But my attitude toward Spain hasn't changed a bit.
3On February 1, 1951, Stanton Griffis was confirmed by the United States Senate to be Ambassador to Spain.
[9.] Q. Mr. President, have you had an opportunity to look at that many-thousandword letter from Senator Byrd, which was sent you last week, on the budget? 4
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I looked at the letter. I read it, not in detail because I don't think Senator Byrd knows very much about the budget. But I read the preliminary part of the letter, and I was very happy to find one sentence in which Senator Byrd said he wanted to cooperate with the Government of the United States and with the President in particular; and I wrote him thanking him very kindly for that. And I am glad to hear it. [Laughter]
4 On December 22, 1950, Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia wrote to the President urging a reduction in the Federal budget for fiscal year 1952. The letter is printed in the Congressional Record (vol. 96, p. 16952).
[10.] Q. Could you give us any guidance as to when there will be--if there will be widespread economic controls, price controls, wage controls--
THE PRESIDENT. Well now, we are gradually approaching what is necessary, and if it becomes necessary for that to come about, it will. But I can't give you any detailed information on it because we are not ready.
Q. I see--I see.
THE PRESIDENT. It takes a long time.
[11.] Q. Mr. President, are you going to recommend universal military training, or universal military service, any time--
THE PRESIDENT. I have recommended universal training, I think, seven or eight times.5 My position on it hasn't changed. But you can't run an emergency such as we are running now with two sets of training programs. We have only got enough people for the one program. I hope that we will have a universal training program before we get through.
See Item 225.
Q. That is training, not service?
THE PRESIDENT. Universal training, that's the word I used.
[12.] Q. Mr. President, have you seen or are you aware in a general way of what Mr. Dulles will say tomorrow night?
THE PRESIDENT. No. I haven't with Mr. Dulles.6
6On December 29 John Foster Dulles, Consultant to the Secretary of State, upheld the administration's foreign policy in an address before the American Association for the United Nations at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel in New York City. The full text of Mr. Dulles' address is published in the Congressional Record (vol. 96, p. A7972).
Q. Any comment on Mr. Dulles' telegram to Mr. Hoover today, that it would not be a reply to the Hoover speech?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I didn't know about that telegram either. I'm sorry.
Q. Mr. President, there were reports published out in Minnesota, I think, regarding Mr. Hoover consulting the White House in advance of his speech?
THE PRESIDENT. He did not consult with me. There are a lot of people in the White House, though, he may have talked to somebody.
[13.] Q. Mr. President, would you recommend removal of that copper tax to the new Congress ?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I am always recommending it--I expect a dozen times, altogether.7
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.
7See Item 231.
Note: President Truman's two hundred and fortyeighth news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, December 28, 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/230628