Harry S. Truman photo

The President's News Conference at Independence, Missouri

June 27, 1945

THE PRESIDENT. This statement I want to make to you, you will all receive mimeographed copies of it, so don't worry about copying it down.

[1.] This is dated today, at Independence, and it is addressed to the Honorable Edward R. Stettinius, Jr.

"Dear Ed: On the day after the death of President Roosevelt, you submitted to me your resignation as Secretary of State. I asked you to continue at your post and to carry out the vitally important assignment for which you were then completing the last preparations--to act as chairman of the United States delegation at the United Nations Conference.

"You accepted that responsibility. It was a very grave responsibility. Upon the success of the San Francisco Conference depended, first of all, the hope that from this war the United Nations could build a lasting peace.

"The San Francisco Conference has now fulfilled its purpose. The Charter of a permanent United Nations has been written. You have every reason to be proud of your part in this achievement from the beginning.

"At the request of Mr. Hull after the Moscow Conference in 1943 you, as Under Secretary of State, organized and directed the preparations for Dumbarton Oaks. You were the representative of the United States and acted as the chairman of the Dumbarton Oaks Conference, where the Proposals were written that became the basis of the Charter. You were at President Roosevelt's right hand at Yalta, where further decisions. on the world organization were made and agreement to hold the United Nations Conference was reached.

"All the preparations for the San Francisco Conference were under your direction. During its deliberations you served not only as chairman of the United States delegation but as President of the Conference, charged with the conduct of its business. The task of guiding the work of this Conference of fifty different nations toward unanimous agreement upon the Charter was a difficult one. You accomplished it with skill, unfaltering courage, and success.

"But the task of fulfilling the promise of the San Francisco Conference has only just begun. The Charter must be ratified and the United Nations organization brought into being and put to work. It is necessary to the future of America and the world that the words of this Charter be built into the solid structure of peace for which the world is waiting and praying.

"I can think of no better way to express the confidence of the United States in the future of the United Nations than to choose as the American representative in that task a man who has held with distinction the highest appointive office in the Government and has been more closely associated with the creation of the Charter than any other.

"I have asked you if you would accept nomination as the Representative of the United States to the United Nations, when the organization is established. As such you would be the United States member of the Security Council and chairman of the United States delegation in the General Assembly. You have told me that you would accept this great responsibility.

"I therefore now accept your resignation as Secretary of State.1

1Mr. Stettlntus served from December 1, 1944, through June 27, 1945.

"I intend to submit the United Nations Charter to the Senate on Monday and to ask for its prompt ratification. You have told me that you feel it is of the utmost importance for you, as Chairman of the United States delegation, to be immediately available to the Senate for whatever assistance and information it needs in connection with its consideration of the Charter.

"I wanted you to come with me to the meeting with Marshal Stalin and Prime Minister Churchill which will take place next month. But, since I shall be away during the congressional hearings, I have reluctantly agreed to your suggestion that you remain in Washington while I am away. In that capacity you will represent me before the Senate in all matters relating to the Charter.

"I also ask you to supervise, as the personal representative of the President, the work of the United States members of the Preparatory Commission pending ratification of the Charter and your nomination as the Representative of the United States to the United Nations.

"I am confident that you will continue to fulfill with honor to yourself and with benefit to America and the cause of peace the high trust which your country reposes in you."

Signed by me.

Any questions you want to ask?

[2.] Q. Mr. President, have you nominated a successor?

THE PRESIDENT. That will be done when we get back to Washington.

Q. Can you tell us who it will be, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I will not.

Q. Is it someone in the Government now, Mr. President?


Q. Is it Mr. Byrnes, Mr. President? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT. That question I cannot answer.

Q. Will Mr. Stettinius subsequently be appointed Ambassador to the Court of St. James?

THE PRESIDENT. He will not.

Q. Has he accepted this new post?

THE PRESIDENT. He has accepted it. It's the highest post in the gift of the Government. I don't see why it shouldn't be an honor to accept it.

Q. When does that take effect, Mr. President, the resignation?

THE PRESIDENT. Immediately. It is accepted today.

Q. Will Mr. Grew continue to serve as Acting Secretary?

THE PRESIDENT. That will be up to the Secretary of State to say, when he takes over. He will be Acting Secretary just as he has been when Mr. Stettinius is gone.

Q. Mr. President, you said that you would send up this nomination for the new successor as soon as you get back to Washington. Does that mean Monday?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. Monday or Tuesday, probably.

Q. That means you might be returning--

THE PRESIDENT. I am returning to Washington on Sunday morning, and will be home in the afternoon at 2 o'clock, provided the Sacred Cow stays in the air. [Laughter]

Q. Wouldn't you like to say a few words about your reactions to this homecoming?

THE PRESIDENT. I was overwhelmed with it, of course. All these people have seen me two or three times a day, for the last 30 or 40 years. I can't see what there is about me now that would make them turn out like they did today.

Q. Mr. President, can you say anything about your plans on presenting the Charter to the Senate on Monday?

THE PRESIDENT. I have nothing to say about that, yet.

Q. Mr. President, could you say who will direct the banking system in Germany--under what branch of the Government that would come?

THE PRESIDENT. That's what I am going to try to arrange--that's the reason I am going to Germany.

Q. Mr. President, following up the question on the presentation of the Charter, can you say whether you will do that in person?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't want to say that today. I haven't made up my mind on it definitely.

Q. Mr. President, did you say when you would name a successor to Mr. Stettinius?

THE PRESIDENT. I will make the announcement in Washington.

Q. Probably Tuesday, did you say, Mr. President?


Q. Who will accompany you to Berlin, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, whoever is necessary to carry on negotiations for the Government of the United States.

Q. In that connection, sir, you had previously announced that Mr. Byrnes would go--

THE PRESIDENT. I had asked Mr. Byrnes and Mr. Stettinius, and Mr. Davies, and Admiral Leahy, and Harry Hopkins; and I am going to try to take everybody I need to transact the business.

Q. You are going to remove Mr. Stettinius from this trip?

THE PRESIDENT. He removed himself.

Q. Well, Mr. Byrnes is still in the trip though, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. He is. He is. There has been no change except this one which I have announced.

Q. Mr. President, will Justice Jackson go with you, by any chance?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Jackson is in England now, attending to the job to which he was appointed.

Q. Will he meet you--

Q. Mr. President, is the new Secretary of State going to the Big Three meeting ?

THE PRESIDENT. I hope so. [Laughter]

Q. Mr. President, will Mr. Byrnes--

Q. Do you have a definite date on the meeting yet?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I will give you a definite date when you get back to Washington.

Q. Will Mr. Byrnes go there in the capacity of a private citizen?

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Byrnes is going at my invitation. [Laughter]

Q. Sir, what was the date that you said you would give us when you returned?

THE PRESIDENT. The date of the conference--

Q. Yes, the conference.

THE PRESIDENT.--in Europe.

Q. Will you have to add to the list, Mr. President, in order to include the new Secretary? [Laughter]

THE PRESIDENT [laughing]. I can't answer that question. I will have to look over the list and see.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, there are still persistent reports in Washington that Secretary Morgenthau is about to resign. Is there anything to that, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. As I have told you time and again, I have the resignation of everybody who can resign in the Government, and I can accept them when I get ready, if it's necessary. I hadn't thought about accepting Mr. Morgenthau's, however.

Q. The same go for Mr. Ickes, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. Anybody who can resign has resigned to me as the new President, as they should. Those who want to stay, may, as I have said time and again. Mr. Stettinius is getting a better job.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, has anything been done with respect to the possible grant-in-aid to Great Britain, which has been discussed?

THE PRESIDENT. No. Nothing has been done.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. All right--all right. [Laughter]

Note: President Truman's fifteenth news conference was held in Memorial Hall at Independence at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27, 1945. The White House Official Reporter noted that the galleries were filled with visitors, including many children. He also noted that the day was hot and sultry and that the newspapermen and women were seated in chairs around the President's 'makeshift desk and chair, in front of the platform.

Before the President began speaking, the Press Secretary stated the rules governing news conferences as he had done at the conference at Olympia, Item 64.

Harry S Truman, The President's News Conference at Independence, Missouri Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/232366

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