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Harry S. Truman
1945-1953


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Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.
  172. The President's News Conference  
October 18, 1945

THE PRESIDENT. I have no particular announcements to make today, but I thought maybe you might like to ask me some questions and would rather come in and do it.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, do you think the passage of the Hatch-Ball-Burton bill at this time might be helpful?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not familiar enough with the provisions of the Hatch-Ball-Burton bill, because it was introduced just a short time before I left the Senate, and I can't answer the question.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek says in an interview today with the U.P. that he had told the late President Roosevelt that the fate of the Emperor of Japan should be decided by the Japanese people themselves, through free elections. Is there any such plan?

THE PRESIDENT. Not that I know of. I think it's a good plan, however.

[3.] Q. Mr. President, Mr. Snyder in a series of speeches indicated that it is his purpose to hold the line firmly on price stabilization, while letting management and labor bargain it out collectively within the present price structure. Does that represent the settled policy of the administration?

THE PRESIDENT. That is in accordance with the Executive order of August 18 which I read to you, I think, at another press conference.1

1 See Item 157 [5].

Q. Mr. President, in that connection, after a talk with you the other day, Mr. Garrison said that you had asked or suggested some machinery outside the War Labor Board for wage and price settlements. Could you tell us anything about your ideas on that point?

THE PRESIDENT. We are discussing that tomorrow at a Cabinet meeting. I will have an announcement to make on it, I think, after the Cabinet meeting.

Q. Is there anything you might say at this point about the type of machinery?

THE PRESIDENT. No, there isn't.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, have you received any message from Mr. Stalin lately?

THE PRESIDENT. No--yes, I have received one message, but it was merely a formal message in answer to some former correspondence. It had nothing to do with the present situation.

Q. Thank you, sir.

[5.] Q. Have there been any developments looking toward resumption or possible elevation to the executive level of the London Council--

THE PRESIDENT. I couldn't hear you.

Q. Have there been any developments looking toward carrying through to the Truman-Stalin level the difficulties that developed in London?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

Q. In other words, there is no Big Three meeting now planned?

THE PRESIDENT. Not in contemplation.

Q. Do you know why the Russian Ambassador came back here?

THE PRESIDENT. I wish I did. [Laughter] It seems to be interesting to most everybody. I suppose he was on his own personal business.

Q. Mr. President, is the State Department--or you--taking any initiative in any way to attempt to break the stalemate that developed in London, and has now developed here, on the Far East?

THE PRESIDENT. In correspondence with the other governments. I hope it will eventually be worked out. I am sure it will.

Q. Does that correspondence, sir, I presume, include Mr. Stalin as well as--

THE PRESIDENT. Naturally. It includes all the interested governments.

Q. Is that more than the Big Five, or just the Big Five?

THE PRESIDENT. All the interested governments in the Far East. There are 10 or 12.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, would you favor repeal of the Smith-Connally Act--the labor disputes act?

THE PRESIDENT. That matter is to be considered by the Congress. It is up to them to decide what ought to be done with that. When it comes up for consideration, I shall express an opinion on it.

Q. Mr. President, could you cast any light on the sudden determination of John L. Lewis to call off the coal strike? Were there any conferences--

THE PRESIDENT. Mr. Lewis stated that he did it in the public interest, which made me very happy. If all these gentlemen will work in the public interest, you will have very little trouble.

[7.] Q. Mr. President, what is the administration's policy on the aluminum plants owned by the Government?

THE PRESIDENT. The policy has not been established as yet, but we hope as many of them as possible will be kept in operation.

Q. By the Government?

THE PRESIDENT. No. By private industry.

Q. Would you favor Government subsidies to run these plants?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't think it will be necessary.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can tell us as to the length or content of your message to Congress Tuesday?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I will furnish you that message in plenty of time so you can study it before I deliver it.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, I was wondering if Attorney General Clark has made any recommendation on that district judgeship vacancy out in Kansas?

THE PRESIDENT. No, he hasn't.

Q. You haven't made up your mind?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I haven't considered it at all. I just signed the bill yesterday.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, have you had any further correspondence with Mr. Attlee relative to the Palestine question?

THE PRESIDENT. Not right recently. I had quite a voluminous correspondence with him at one time, and made some suggestions to him, which are still being considered.

Q. The time ripe yet for disclosure of his reply, or of your original note?

THE PRESIDENT. No, because the matter is still under consideration by the British Government, and I don't want to appear to be pushing them unduly. I think that request which I made of Mr. Attlee was a reasonable one, and I am hoping that he will comply with it. I asked him to admit a hundred thousand Jews into Palestine.1

1See Item 188.

Q. That would seem to indicate that his reply that has been received here was not conclusive?

THE PRESIDENT. He didn't want to admit as many as I asked him to.

Q. Was the figure quoted in Congress as 1,800 a month approximately correct?

THE PRESIDENT. No-well, it is approximately correct, but it is more than that. He would agree to more than that.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can tell us on the selection for Chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance?

THE PRESIDENT. No. No decision has been reached on it.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, there has been some talk on the Hill that you have urged prompt action on the atomic bomb bill, which is in your message. Do you object to the resumption of hearings, and to a delay of 2 or 3 weeks on that legislation?

THE PRESIDENT. I want the Congress to have all the information that it feels it needs, so that it can legislate intelligently, but I don't think there ought to be any undue delay.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, have your plans crystallized for the period between your Georgia trip and your next Missouri trip in about 10 days?

THE PRESIDENT. I will be right here at this desk.

Q. You are not going to Florida?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

Q. In other words, you are coming back from Warm Springs to Washington?

THE PRESIDENT. That's right. I will be right here at this desk.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, Members of Congress returning from overseas criticize UNRRA very severely. Do you have any other plan in mind for relief, other than UNRRA?

THE PRESIDENT. No. That is an implemented and agreed on plan between the interested governments, and unless we want to assume the whole burden ourselves, we will have to go through UNRRA.

Q. Would you consider the latter?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I would not. I think every nation ought to assume its part of the burden.

[15.] Q. Mr. President, returning to the atomic bomb question, does the May-Johnson bill seem satisfactory to you?

THE PRESIDENT. I think it is satisfactory. I don't know, because I haven't studied it carefully. When it comes up here for me to sign it, I will make up my mind on what I shall do with it. It is substantially in line with the suggestion in the message, I think.

Reporters: Thank you, Mr. President.

NOTE: President Truman's thirtieth at the White House at 10:05 a.m. on news conference was held in his office Thursday, October 18, 1945.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.