Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

June 01, 1950

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

[1.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Humphrey made a speech yesterday, in which he invited the liberal Republicans to join the Democratic Party, and in which he more or less invited the conservative Democrats to get out and go over to the conservative Republicans. What do you think of that political philosophy?

THE PRESIDENT. I think the Democrats would like to have all the votes they can get. I don't care about driving anybody out of the Democratic Party.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, do you favor any other Cabinet officers appearing informally before Congress and being questioned?1

THE PRESIDENT. Whenever the Congress would like to see them, of course they are all available; and this isn't any precedent that has been set, I think this is the third time it has been done.

1 On May 31 Secretary of State Dean Acheson appeared before approximately 250 Members of the Senate and House of Representatives at an informal session in Coolidge Auditorium in the Library of Congress. The Secretary's address was followed by a question and answer period. (See Department of State Bulletin, vol. 22, p. 931.)

Q. Well now, in the future, sir, would you also favor the question period being spent on the radio, which was cut off yesterday?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that is up to the Cabinet officer himself whether he wants to be questioned or not. He doesn't have to be questioned if he doesn't want to be.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, did Secretary Sawyer consult with you before asking for the resignation of Mr. Remington?2

THE PRESIDENT. No, that is a departmental affair.

2 William W. Remington resigned from his position as an economist in the Department of Commerce on June 9, 1950. Secretary of Commerce Charles Sawyer requested the resignation on May 27.

In 1948 the Department had suspended Mr. Remington after Elizabeth Bentley testified before the House Committee on Un-American Activities that he had Communist affiliations. In February 1949 he was cleared by the President's Loyalty Review Board and reinstated in the Department. He was indicted on June 8, 1950, by a New York grand jury on a charge that he had lied in denying he had ever been a member of the Communist Party.

Q. Do you have any comment?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, I apologize for asking a tough question--

THE PRESIDENT. It's all right.

Q.--as I understand it, the import tax on copper becomes effective June 30th unless the present waiver is extended by Congress. It seems to be a matter of some international interest.

THE PRESIDENT. I hope the Congress will extend it.

Q. You hope the Congress will extend it?

THE PRESIDENT. I hope the Congress will extend it.

Q. In that connection, would you say whether this matter has been discussed by the Chilean Ambassador with you?

THE PRESIDENT. The Chilean President himself discussed it with me.

Q. The Chilean President. [Pause here]

[5.] Q. Mr. President, I'll ask one.

THE PRESIDENT. All right, Eddies3--go ahead.

3 Edward T. Folliard of the Washington post.

Q. Mr. President, according to a Gallup poll, a majority of Americans expect a war within the next 5 years. I know that you yourself have said that you are not alarmed. I wonder if you would comment on that feeling--

THE PRESIDENT. I don't agree with that at all. I am doing everything I possibly can to prevent any war of any kind and to make the United Nations operate for a permanent peace in the world. I think we are closer to that now than we have been in the last 5 years.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, just to avoid confusion, I understood your hope is that the waiver on the tax would be extended; that is, that the tax will not become effective? Is that so ?

THE PRESIDENT. That's the idea, yes. The authority of the President to waive the tax is what I would like to see extended.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, to clarify the answer in response to Eddie's question, you think we are closer to peace than we have been in5 years?

THE PRESIDENT. I do. I thought I made that perfectly plain on that nonpolitical trip across the country.

5 Senator Smith's remarks were made on the floor of the Senate before she read what she called a "Declaration of Conscience" issued by herself and six other Senators. The declaration was critical of Senator Joseph R. McCarthy of Wisconsin. (See Congressional Record, vol. 96, p. 7894.

Q. It comes up again.

THE PRESIDENT. If you will read my speech at Laramie, Wyo., I think you will get some enlightenment on it.4

4 See Item 119

[8.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Margaret Chase Smith made a speech in which she said that she did not want to see the Republican Party in the congressional elections this year ride to victory on what she called the four horsemen of fear, ignorance, bigotry, and smear.5 Do you have any comment on that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I wouldn't like to make a comment as strong as that about the Republican Party. [Laughter]

5Senator Smith's remarks were made on the floor of the Senate before she read what she called a "Declaration of Conscience" issued by herself and six other Senators. the declaration was critical of Senator Joseph R. McCarthyism of Wisconsin. (See Congressional Record, Vol. 96, p. 7894.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, do you intend to act shortly on an Executive order to give the Senate committee investigating crime the power to look into income tax returns?6

THE PRESIDENT. The matter has been referred to the Attorney General and the counselor for the President. There is a precedent by which we can go. I had such an order myself when I was running the committee in the Senate.

6 See Item 168.

Q. Pardon me. you mean the question of whether the income tax returns or information from them can be made available?

THE PRESIDENT. What the committee is asking for is information that will contribute to their successful work as a committee to investigate crime, and that would include a great many departments, as well as the Department of Justice.

Q. Mr. President, did you have access to the returns themselves, or just to some of the returns?

THE PRESIDENT. I had access to the returns themselves.

Q. And you think that this committee should have the same access, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I am waiting for an opinion from the Attorney General and my counselor.

Q. Mr. President, in order to get this accurate, you would give them every possible--

THE PRESIDENT. Every possible cooperation. Every possible cooperation.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, Charlie Ross7 told us this morning that President Auriol of France was coming over here next year. I believe it will be the first time that a President of France has made such a visit--

THE PRESIDENT. No, Tony, 8 you are wrong. General de Gaulle was here when he was President of France.

7 Charles G. Ross, Secretary to the President

8Anthony H. Leviero of the New York Times.

Q. Would you comment on the significance of the visit ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it is just a friendly gesture on the part of the President of France, the same as the visit of the President of Chile, the President of Mexico, and the President of Brazil. We would be most happy to entertain the President of France, and give him every courtesy that he is entitled to as the head of a great republic.

Q. Mr. President, do you plan to return President Auriol's visit?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no plans in that direction. Little previous, because he won't be here until March next year.

Q. We are just planning. [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. I may not be asked, you can't tell.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us now anything about Mr. Trygve Lie's conversation with you last week?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment on that.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, are you planning to appoint General Smith as Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency?

THE PRESIDENT. Admiral Hillenkoetter is the head of that Agency now, and when Admiral Hillenkoetter gets ready to be moved back into the Navy, I will make the announcement so everybody will know about it.9

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

9 The appointment of Gen. Walter B. Smith to succeed Rear Adm. Roscoe H. Hillenkoetter as Director of the Central Intelligence Agency was confirmed by the Senate on August 28, 1950. The admiral returned to active sea duty with the Navy on October 7, 1950.

Note: President Truman's two hundred and twentyseventh news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 1, 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/230721

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