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Veto of the Wool Act.

June 26, 1947

To the Senate of the United States:

I return herewith, without my approval, S. 814, entitled "The Wool Act of 1947."

This Bill contains features which would have an adverse effect on our international relations and which are not necessary for the support of our domestic wool growers.

As originally passed by the Senate, the Bill directed the Commodity Credit Corporation to continue until the end of 1948 to support prices to domestic producers of wool at not less than 1946 levels. It further authorized the Commodity Credit Corporation to sell wool held by it at market prices. I have no objection to these provisions.

As passed by the House, the Bill carried an amendment intended to increase the tariff on wool through the imposition of import fees. This was done to provide a means of increasing the domestic market price for wool to approximately the support price, thus shifting the cost of the support from the Treasury to the consumers of wool products. The prices of these products are already high.

The conferees of the two Houses agreed upon a measure closely following the House bill but empowering me to impose import quotas as well as import fees.

The enactment of a law providing for additional barriers to the importation of wool at the very moment when this Government is taking the leading part in a United Nations Conference at Geneva called for the purpose of reducing trade barriers and of drafting a Charter for an International Trade Organization, in an effort to restore the world to economic peace, would be a tragic mistake. It would be a blow to our leadership in world affairs. It would be interpreted around the world as a first step on that same road to economic isolationism down which we and other countries traveled after the first World War with such disastrous consequences. I cannot approve such an action.

The wool growers of this country are entitled to receive support. There is still ample time for this Congress to pass wool legislation consistent with our international responsibilities and the interests of our economy as a whole. I urge that the Congress do so promptly.

A bill based on the general principles and policy of the original Senate Bill would be acceptable to me, although I would prefer a more permanent wool program, as suggested in my memorandum which was made public on March 12, 1946.

For these reasons I am returning S. 814 without my approval.


Note: On August 5 the President approved S. 1498 "An Act to provide support for wool, and for other purposes" (61 Stat. 769). For the President's memorandum made public on March 12, 1946, see 1946 volume, this series, p. 150.

Harry S Truman, Veto of the Wool Act. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/231959

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