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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.
  270. The President's News Conference  
October 19, 1950

THE PRESIDENT. I will answer questions so far as I can. I have no announcements to make.

[1.] Q. Mr. President, having in mind the invitation from the President of Chile earlier in the year, is there any possibility that you would visit Chile the latter part of this year?

THE PRESIDENT. Not with a special session of Congress going on. I can't go anywhere.

[2.] Q. Mr. President, are you now in complete agreement with General MacArthur on Formosa?

THE PRESIDENT. Let me tell you something that will be good for your soul. It's a pity that you columnists and reporters that represent a certain press service can't understand the ideas of two intellectually honest men when they meet.

General MacArthur is the commander in chief of the Far East. He is a member of the Government of the United States. He is loyal to that Government. He is loyal to the President. He is loyal to the President in his foreign policy, which I hope a lot of your papers were--wish a lot of your papers were.

There is no disagreement between General MacArthur and myself. It was a most successful conference. Formosa was settled a month ago, or 5 weeks, I think it was. And there was nothing about Formosa to be settled with General MacArthur. I went out there to get General MacArthur's viewpoint on Japan and the Japanese treaty, to find out if he had any suggestions to make to the treaty which we had drawn and sent around for discussion.

I went out there to find out about the rehabilitation of Korea, and I found out about it. And we have made a decision on what we are going to do about it. We talked about all the rest of the Asiatic Continent and the Far East, and when General MacArthur went to leave, he said that it was one of the most successful conferences he had ever attended. And I said the same thing.
There's your answer.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You understand now, don't you?

Q. Yes, sir. [Laughter]

Q. Were there any decisions taken about Indochina, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. We discussed Indochina. We made no decisions. I got his viewpoint on Indochina. Name any other country you want to in the Far East, and I will answer you.

Q. The Philippines.

Q. Mr. President, I hate to bring up Formosa again--

THE PRESIDENT. Formosa is answered, and I have nothing to say further on it.

Q. No more comment?

THE PRESIDENT. No more comment whatever. I answered you on that.

Q. Mr. President, did you discuss the admission of Red China to the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. Did not. Did not.

Q. What was that question?

THE PRESIDENT. He wanted to know if we discussed the admission of Red China to the United Nations, and I said I did not discuss that.

Q. Mr. President, not discussing Formosa in connection with the conference, but I wonder if I could ask this question? Do you intend to actually defend Formosa pending a disposition of it by the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. We have no reason to consider that question because that is a river that we have not come to as yet. [Pause]

[3.] Q. I will ask one, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. All right.

Q. On Monday, the Genocide Convention became effective because, I think, there are five other countries that have ratified it, and we haven't yet. I wonder if you would urge the Senate to--

THE PRESIDENT. One of the last things I did before the Congress adjourned was to urge the Senate to ratify that convention; 1 and of course, when they come back here, I am going to urge them again to ratify it as promptly as it is possible. It will be ratified.

1 See Item 222.

[4.] Q. Mr. President, would you care to comment on the action taken by the United Nations in approving the Acheson proposal for closer unity among the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. I am very well satisfied with it, and I think I made that clear in my San Francisco speech.2

2 See Item 269.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, is there any possibility that members of the Reserve will get the idea sometime in the near future of what their status is as regards service?

THE PRESIDENT. We have been discussing that with the Defense Department, and I hope that we can work out a program that will be equitable and fair, both to the Reserves and to the citizen soldiers altogether.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Pat McCarran said awhile ago that your administration is trying to discredit the anti-Communist bill by this action today on Spain? 3

THE PRESIDENT. The administration did not discredit the law. The law was discredited in the Congress. All I am doing is enforcing it, and I expect to enforce it to the letter.

3 On October 19 the Department of Justice ordered members of the Spanish Falangist Party barred from the United States, ruling that they were totalitarians inadmissible under the terms of the new Internal Security Act. The Department of State, acting simultaneously, instructed its officials abroad to suspend action on visas held or applied for by Falange members until a governmental study of the new law could be completed.

Q. What was that question on, please?

THE PRESIDENT. On Senator McCarran's anti-Communist bill, or pro-Communist bill, I call it. [Laughter]

[7.] Q. Mr. President, I have a "must" question--

THE PRESIDENT. Sure--[laughter]--I am not exasperated with you, you can ask me anything you want, but I don't think I want to comment any further on questions about Formosa. It is not necessary. But I will try to answer your question.

Q. It is not on Formosa.

THE PRESIDENT. That's all right.

Q. In view of the protests by Southern Congressmen and the cotton bloc, do you feel that the 2 million bales cotton export quota should be relaxed ?

THE PRESIDENT. I didn't get the beginning of your question.



Q. The 2 million bale quota on cotton exports, which some Southern Congressmen have protested--the question was whether you felt that--do you know of any justification for relaxing it?

THE PRESIDENT. No, there is no justification for relaxing it, because we need the cotton here at home. That's the reason the quota was put on.

[8.] Q. Mr. President, in connection with the Reserve thing, have you any ideas when the program will be announced?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven't. You see what the difficulty is that those men who accepted Reserve commissions, and those enlisted men who stayed in the organized Reserve, and those who joined the National Guard and helped to reorganize it are to some extent making some sacrifice for their country over those who have come of age in the last 5 years to render military service.

And it is not exactly fair. I don't know how we are going to work it out, but the Defense Department is working on it. That is what the difficulty is. And a lot of Reservists have been discharged from their jobs. I think that is certainly a patriotic thing for people to do! Those are the fellows that ought to have the pick of the jobs.

Q. What was the last part of your sentence ?

THE PRESIDENT. I said that some of those Reservists are being discharged because they are Reservists, and that certainly is a highly patriotic thing to do. Those fellows ought to have priority on everything of that kind.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, can you give us an idea when the Bell report on the Philippines might be made public? 4

THE PRESIDENT. It will be some time before it is made public, if it ever is.

4 See Items 180 and 238 [5].

[10.] Q. Mr. President, do you feel more optimistic concerning the Democrats' prospects in the New York elections?

THE PRESIDENT. I think the Democrats are going to have a landslide this fall. I think there are going to be a lot of surprised Republicans, just as there were in 1948.

Q. May I ask--
Q. Do you think

THE PRESIDENT. What? [Laughter]
Q. Go ahead.
Q. This is politics.

THE PRESIDENT. Go ahead--go ahead.

Q. So is mine. [More laughter]

Q. Does that landslide in New York have anything to do with a certain letter5 which is being talked about up there?

THE PRESIDENT. I read that letter, and I was sorry I read it, and sorry a thing of that kind had to come up before the public. And I have no comment to make on it at all. I think, of course, that it will have some effect on the New York elections, and it won't hurt the Democrats.

5 On September 5, 1950, Lt. Governor Joe R. Hanley of New York sent a letter to Representative W. Kingsland Macy in which he indicated that he had agreed to run for the Senate on the Republican ticket as a result of "unalterable and unquestionably definite propositions" made to him during a conference with Governor Thomas E. Dewey. The full text of the letter is printed in the Congressional Record (vol. 96, p. A7635).

[11.] Q. I was going to ask if you expect the landslide to extend into Pennsylvania, Mr. President?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh, I can't prophesy on that. I am trying to increase membership in the House and the Senate. They have always said we were going to lose some States, but I don't think so. I can't comment on specific States because I don't know the local conditions. I hope we elect Frank Myers,6 though.

6 Senator Francis J. Myers of Pennsylvania.

Q. Do you think, sir, there will be increases in both Chambers?

THE PRESIDENT. I do.

Q. Mr. President, Senator Anderson this morning left the door open just a smidge for you to go out campaigning?

THE PRESIDENT. I have no plans in that direction.

[12.] Q. Mr. President, any chance of your going home to vote?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I think I will go home to vote, if everything is all right here so I can leave.

Q. Might say a few words the night before the election?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I am going to receive and dedicate a bell out there that was given to Independence by a little village in France where these Liberty Bells were cast. That will be the Monday of the week, and go in the daytime.7

7 See Item 281.

Q. Is that down home?

THE PRESIDENT. This is cast in Independence.

Q. Do they know out home that you are coming?

THE PRESIDENT. Oh yes, they have made arrangements for it.

Q. I have been out of town.

THE PRESIDENT. That's one on me that I can't answer. [Laughter]

[13.] Q. Mr. President, Senator Martin of Pennsylvania, in a campaign speech last night, said that the President was delaying putting in price and wage controls until after the election for political--
THE PRESIDENT, No, the Senator is very much mistaken about that. I am sure that Senator Martin would not make a statement of that kind with vicious intent. He is a fine gentleman. Every effort has been made to get these things done as rapidly as possible, but you know, one of the difficulties-since a man has to have his character assassinated and have his private life hung out on the public line, I want to get men to fill those places that are the kind you want.

[14.] Q. Mr. President, did any question of General MacArthur's resignation arise?

THE PRESIDENT. No. No. I had no intention of it arising. He told me very specifically that he was happy in his job, and he wanted to finish it. And I am happy to have him finish it.

Q. Mr. President, did he indicate when he might come back here for a visit?

THE PRESIDENT. No. He did not want to come back until his job is finished, he said. I imagine he meant the Japanese treaty, when he said that.

Q. Did he indicate how long--do you know how long that might be?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't tell you how long it is going to take to negotiate that Jap treaty. I hope it will be done promptly.

[15.] Q. Do you have any appointment in mind for Senator Graham?8

THE PRESIDENT. Senator Graham has informed me that he wants to finish his term as Senator, and then he would be willing to talk to me.

8 Senator Frank P. Graham of North Carolina.

[16.] Q. Mr. President, when might consultations with the Japanese treaty begin?

THE PRESIDENT. We are ready to begin any time.

Q. Well, how will the timing be determined, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. There are 11 nations that have to be in on it, and we are negotiating with them now, trying to get started on it. We are ready now.
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You're welcome.

NOTE: President Truman's two hundred and fortysecond news conference was held in the Indian Treaty Room (Room 474) in the Executive Office Building at 4 p.m. on Thursday, October 19, 1950.
 
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project.  John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.