Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference

April 22, 1948

THE PRESIDENT. Well, ladies and gentlemen, you have had all the announcements up to date. I haven't any announcements to make to you, so if you have any questions I will try to answer them.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, U.S. Steel today denied a wage increase to its employees, and at the same time announced a decrease in consumer goods approximating 25 million, Mr. Fairless stating that both acts would work against inflation. Do you have any comment?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment, for I learned it just about the same time you did.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, out in Ohio there is a hot primary fight for Governor, Ray Miller against Frank Lausche. Charles Sawyer is honorary chairman of the Miller forces. The Lausche people claim that this puts you on the side of Miller. Is that right?

THE PRESIDENT. That has nothing to do with Ohio politics. I appointed Mr. Sawyer because I thought he was the man best fitted for the place. Cabinet appointments are my individual business.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, could you comment on the results of the Italian election?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I have a short statement here on the Italian election which I will read to you.

"Free peoples everywhere will be encouraged by the outcome of the recent Italian election. The results demonstrate once again the vitality of Italian democracy and the determination of the Italian people to maintain their freedom and their liberties." That's all I have to say.

Q. Has that been mimeographed?

THE PRESIDENT. No, it hasn't.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, on the same day of the Italian elections, General de Gaulle issued a statement at Marseilles as a rallying call for de Gaulleists. Any comment to make upon that?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, about your trip to California, is that going to be part of a larger trip, will you make a swing across the country?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of. The University of California some time back invited me to make their address at commencement, and I told them I didn't know whether I could or not, they could invite me if they chose and I would come if I could. That is the only way I make engagements, and that is how that engagement was made. I will go if I possibly can, because I am very highly flattered that the University of California should want me to make the commencement address.

Q. Mr. President, are you thinking of going to Chicago about the same time you will be going to California?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of. When I get ready to announce any trip, you will all know in advance, so you can get your "duds" ready and take your lunch along, and we'll have a good time. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, Scott Lucas said he talked to you on the subject?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, he did. He talked to me about it. I hope I can go. I can't make any firm appointments until I know what the situation is here.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, do you believe at this time that the Western European union has gone sufficiently far enough for you to match their cooperative effort with the U.S.A.?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not ready to answer that question, but I will answer it some time soon.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, did you ask Commissioner Durr1 to accept reappointment?

THE PRESIDENT. I sent for Commissioner Durr and offered him reappointment. I think he is a good public servant. But he told me he could not accept the reappointment for the simple reason that he was raising a family and he couldn't live on the salary that he was getting. I was very sorry, because he is a good public servant.

1C. J. Durr, member of the Federal Communications Commission.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment on the progress and developments in the John L. Lewis case?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I am enforcing the law.

Q. Mr. President, do you think that perhaps the Speaker of the House also helped to enforce the law when he intervened?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. You had better ask the Speaker. He is not in the executive branch of the Government.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, could you tell us why you switched from the 55 group to the 66 group?

THE PRESIDENT. There was no switch from a 55 to a 66 group. The Secretary of Defense and the Chiefs of Staff came up here and discussed an increase in the appropriation for the ground forces and the air force. And Secretary Forrestal explained that very carefully in his statement to the committee, and I approved the statement.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, some Republican Senators feel that they would be justified in delaying confirmation of the administrative appointments, to see that you get elected next time.

THE PRESIDENT. That's their business. they want to cripple the operations of the Government, they will have to take the responsibility. I shall continue to make appointments as usual when they are necessary to be made.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, has Senator Grath's appearance here any significance?

THE PRESIDENT. No, he was here and I invited him to stay for the press conference.

[12.] Q. Anything on patronage at this time?

THE PRESIDENT. Nothing whatever. [Laughter]

[13.] Q. Mr. President, have you decided when you will appoint Mr. Charles Brannan to take Mr. Anderson's place--

THE PRESIDENT. When I get ready to announce the appointment of the Secretary of Agriculture, I will let you know a few days in advance--if I can. If not, I will let you know on the day I make it.

Q. Mr. President, are you ready to tell us who the Deputy Administrator is--

THE PRESIDENT. Not yet, no. I will tell you just as soon as I can. I will tell you.

[14.] Q. Has Mike Monroney been offered or accepted the job in--

THE PRESIDENT. Mike Monroney was offered the job as Chairman of the Economic Advisers when that bill was passed with his assistance; and he refused to accept it.

Q. Has there been anything since then?

THE PRESIDENT. I have had several conversations with him since then, on various subjects. [Laughter]

[15.] Q. Mr. President, do you see Mr. Sawyer tonight?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Sawyer will be at the Cabinet meeting in the morning. He can't get here tonight.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, do you feel that the Federal Reserve Board should have any new authority to restrain inflationary bank credit at this time?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment to make on that. I haven't given it the study that it should have. I can't comment on it at this time.

This young lady wants to ask a question, then I'll be--

[17.] Q. Thank you, Mr. President. Would you still be willing, Mr. President, to see Stalin personally, either here or in-anywhere else in the world?

THE PRESIDENT. If Mr. Stalin wants to come here to see me, I will be very happy to see him. I don't expect to go out of the United States to attend any conferences at this time.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, the House passed a resolution today directing the Commerce Department to turn over the Condon1 files to the House Un-American Committee.

THE PRESIDENT. Do you remember Thomas Jefferson's comment on the John Marshall decision? If you don't remember that, you had better look it up.

1Dr. Edward U. Condon, Director, National Bureau of Standards, Department of Commerce.

Q. But in view of your recent order, Mr. President, will you permit the files to--

THE PRESIDENT. I will tell you to read Thomas Jefferson's comment on John Marshall's decision.

Q. Won't you tell us about it, to save us the trouble? [Laughter]

Q. It may take us a little time to find it. Would you like to run over it?

THE PRESIDENT. It's "The Chief Justice made his decision, now let him enforce it."1

1 The President was quoting a remark commonly attributed to President Andrew Jackson, who is said to have made it in 1832 following a decision of Chief Justice John Marshall of the U.S. Supreme Court.

Q. The Chief Justice made his decision--

THE PRESIDENT.--now let him enforce it.

[19.] Q. Mr. President, may we put your comment on the Italian election in quotes?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, you may. You may do that.

[20.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the situation in Palestine?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment on that. That matter is pending before the United Nations.

Q. Mr. President, Mr. Austin said that we intended to send--offered to send American troops to Palestine if other nations would help to enforce the--

THE PRESIDENT. We offered to furnish our share of a United Nations police force. That is the only way we will send troops anywhere under the United Nations. As a part of a United Nations police force for the enforcement of the orders of the United Nations, we will furnish our share, just as Mr. Austin said we would.

Q. The rest of that question, sir, is that there has been congressional criticism that you don't have the authority to send troops out of the country under the U.N.?

THE PRESIDENT. I wonder what authority the Commander in Chief has over troops anywhere? Read the history of the Mexican Veracruz thing -- Nicaragua -- Haiti--and several others. You will find out some things that maybe you don't know now.

[21.] Q. Mr. President, have you reached any decision yet as to when the American tariff concessions to Czechoslovakia will be put into effect?

THE PRESIDENT. A statement on that will be issued by the State Department before the day is over. That will cover the situation.

[22.] Q. Mr. President, when you say "furnish our share as part of a U.N. police force," you include a--you mean a police force including Soviet troops?

THE PRESIDENT. I mean a police force organized by the United Nations. I am not saying what troops because that is the business of the United Nations.

Q. Mr. President, is that a permanent police force, or special authority for Palestine--

THE PRESIDENT. Whatever the contingency calls for.

[23.] Q. Can you comment on the situation regarding the Reciprocal Trade Act, which expires less than 2 months from now?

THE PRESIDENT. It should be renewed, and renewed at once. I have said that to the Congress on a half dozen different occasions.

Q. No action yet in Congress.

THE PRESIDENT. Well, that's not my fault. I am not running Congress.

[24.] Q. Mr. President, there is a great deal in the papers about "Project X." I can't find anyone who knows anything about it. Do you know anything about it?

THE PRESIDENT. If I did I couldn't tell you. [Laughter]

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You are entirely welcome.

Note: President Truman's one hundred and fortythird news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, April 22, 1948.

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/229319

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