Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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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.
  166. The President's News Conference  
June 12, 1952

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

[1.] Q. Mr. President, I wonder if you could tell us now whether you plan to invoke the Taft-Hartley Act in view of the congressional votes?1

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have no comment to make on it.

1 On June 11 the Senate rejected, by a vote of 54 to 26, a proposal introduced by Senator Wayne Morse of Oregon which would have given the President the seizure powers he had requested (see Item 161).

[2.] Q. Mr. President, as Commander in Chief, what is your attitude toward applying the Army's regulation that bears on political activities of any general ?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment. The Army is handling that.

[3.] Q. Could you tell us any more about your conversation with Senator Russell on his plan for Koje?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon ?

Q. Could you tell us some more about your conversation with Senator Russell on his plan for Koje?

THE PRESIDENT. There is nothing more to say except what you saw in the paper. I released the letter he wrote me, and my reply.2

2 See Items 162, 163.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, will you have any announcement on the recommendation for a judgeship to fill the vacancy in South Carolina?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I will--some time Soon.



Q. The next week or two ?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't know how soon it will take. As quickly as I can make the investigation.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, since the steel wage talks broke down, the companies have been saying that the sole remaining issue is that of the union shop. Do you believe that is the fact?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know anything about it. I didn't carry on the negotiations.

Q. In your conversation this morning with Senator Morse, was that matter mentioned?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon ?

Q. In your conversation this morning with Senator Morse, was the steel question mentioned ?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, yes, it was discussed. Nobody ever comes in there that doesn't discuss it. Senator Morse didn't see fit to quote me, and I shall not quote him.

Q. Mr. President, do you think that the limited production plan that has been proposed by steel labor and steel management will come anywhere near meeting our defense needs?

THE PRESIDENT. They are meeting on that situation right now, and I can't give you an answer until I find out just what the facts are.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, General Eisenhower was quoted this morning as saying that $40 billion could be cut out of the budget. Do you agree with that?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no comment. I think Mr. Taft answered him, I'm not sure. [Laughter]

[7.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any plans to invoke the Selective Service Act in connection with steel ?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, as a political expert, how do you think General Eisenhower's campaign is going?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, now, I would rather not comment on the opposition. When the time comes, I will have a lot of comment to make on all these things, but I am not ready yet.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, are you contemplating asking any review of the Korean situation by the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. The United Nations is represented over there, and they are constantly reviewing it.

Q. But nothing new--no general review?

THE PRESIDENT. NO.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, do you contemplate any action in regard to the threatened drought out in the Middle West?

THE PRESIDENT. What can I do? I can't make it rain--[laughter]--although we have a lot of rainmakers these days. I don't think it's as bad now as it has been previous to this. They had a lot of rain in Texas and New Mexico.

[11.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment on President Rhee's closing the Voice of America broadcasts in Korea?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. No comment.

Q. Mr. President--

THE PRESIDENT. The State Department answered that, I think, this afternoon. What is it ?

[12.] Q. There was a story in one of the papers today that tactical atomic weapons will be used in Korea, if the Communist army launches a mass attack

THE PRESIDENT. I don't intend to discuss tactics and technique in field maneuvers. That is not my job.

[13.] Q. Mr. President, there was a report awhile back that the whistlestop campaign, and most other campaigning, would be along the route of the coaxial cable, because it would be the best television possible. Lots of people in the country as yet don't have television. I wonder if you will see to it that your campaign will be spread out

THE PRESIDENT. They have 47 million sets in use. I don't believe they would have that 47 million if we hadn't been a little prosperous during the last 7 years. [Laughter]

Q. Will you follow just the television around, or will you--

THE PRESIDENT. I shall go wherever the National Committee requests me to go.

Q. Mr. President--

THE PRESIDENT. I can put on a pretty good show myself, television or no television. [More laughter] What is it?

[14.] Q. Will you comment on the proposed trip of the Secretary of State to Brazil ?

THE PRESIDENT. He will make the necessary comment on that.3 I shall not comment on it at this time.

3 The text of the statement by Secretary of State Dean Acheson is printed in the Department of State Bulletin (vol. 27, p. 6).

[15.] Q. Mr. President, do you have any comment on the immigration bill which

THE PRESIDENT. It has not reached my desk as yet. As soon as it reaches my desk, I will comment on it and you shall know all about it.4

4 for the President's statement upon vetoing the bill to revise the laws relating to immigration, naturalization, and nationality, see Item 182.

Q. Are you going to veto it?

THE PRESIDENT. I can't answer that question until I read the bill.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, after he left your office this afternoon, Senator Lucas said that he was of the opinion that Governor Stevenson can be drafted for the Democratic nomination. Do you share that opinion, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I am not in a position to give you an intelligent answer to that. Senator Lucas 5 is a resident of Illinois, and I think he would be better informed on the subject than I am.

5 Scott W. Lucas, Senator from Illinois, 1939-1951.

[17.] Q. Mr. President, do you regard the office of keynoter of a national convention as a political office ?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, yes. [Laughter]

Q. Well, is it a matter of honor for a five-star general to retire6

THE PRESIDENT. Now, I Can't Comment on those things. The Army is handling that. That's their baby, not mine. I am in politics.

6 On June 10, General of the Army Douglas MacArthur was chosen by the Arrangements Committee for the Republican National Convention as the keynote speaker of the 1952 convention.

Q. But, sir, you are Commander in Chief, are you not ?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I am Commander in Chief, but I am not exercising that authority in this case. [Laughter]
Q. Why?

THE PRESIDENT. Because I don't want to.

Q. It is more pleasant to play Commander in Chief at West Point and Annapolis?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, it is--or Springfield, Missouri. [More laughter]

Q. Well, Mr. President, will the decision of the Army authorities in this particular case be agreeable to you, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. The Army will handle the thing as it should be handled, I am sure. I am not interfering with them.

Q. Mr. President, have they gotten any guidance from you on it?

THE PRESIDENT. I haven't discussed the matter with them.

Q. You say you have not ?

THE PRESIDENT. Have not.

Q. Well, Mr. President, I gathered that the Army has announced that it will not do anything about it. Is that satisfactory to you?

THE PRESIDENT. The Army is handling it.

Q. You did say-THE PRESIDENT. The Army is handling it. I say the Army is handling it. If I am not satisfied with what they do, I will call them down. [Laughter]



Q. You haven't had occasion to call them down?

THE PRESIDENT. NO. [Laughter]

You are having an awfully hard time getting to the bottom of this, aren't you?

Q. Mr. President, what is the bottom of this?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, wait and see. Just wait and see. [More laughter]

Q. Have you got anything else on your mind?

[18.] Q. Mr. President--excuse me --

THE PRESIDENT. May7 wants to ask a question.

7 Mrs. May Craig of the Portland (Maine) Press Herald.

Q. Mr. President, why did we accept the new Soviet Ambassador, General Zarubin,8 until we were sure that he is not the one of that same name mentioned in connection with the Katyn forest massacre of Polish officers ?

THE PRESIDENT. I don't know anything about it, May. It is customary, though, when a country asks the acceptance of an ambassador, he is accepted. There is never a question of any we send to them. It's a matter of courtesy. The country has a right to pick its own representatives. We don't pick them for them.

8 Gen. Georgi N. Zarubin, who became the Soviet Ambassador to the United States on September 25, 1952.

Q. Yes sir--but it is up to us whether we accept or not, isn't it ?

THE PRESIDENT. It is. But it is always customary to accept. I don't know of a single instance all the time I have been in Washington when there has been a discourteous rejection of an ambassador by any country. And I have been here about 19 years.
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right.

NOTE: President Truman's three hundred and eighth news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, June 12, 1952.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.