Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972; Snyder, John W. (John Wesley), 1895-1985; Lovett, Robert A. (Robert Abercrombie), 1895-1986; Brannan, Charles F. (Charles Franklin), 1903-1992; Donaldson, Jesse M. (Jesse Monroe), 1885-1970; MacArthur, Douglas, 1880-1964; Sawy
Cabinet meetings; Korean War, 1950-1953; Armed forces officers; Military readiness
Cabinet Meeting Minutes, March 20, 1951. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings II.
CABINET MEETING MARCH 20, 1951 11:00
State - absent
Marshall - absent
McGrath - absent
Lovett for Defense
Perlman for Justice
COL - (AAF)
Briefed Cabinet on Korea.
Has had a sad experience with McArthur [MacArthur] who beat the gun on a statement
which was to be used as a statement by the President. MacArthur picked up
the statement and went beyond it with views of his own with threats of mass
destruction if necessary if Commies did not go along with proposed peace
suggestion. It was a disloyal act to the Commander in Chief.
We are trying to work out a meeting of minds of labor - farmers and
industry on stabilization. All segments of our economy must make
sacrifices. There can be no exceptions. The present Defense Mobilization
Act is not workable. We are now trying to suggest amendments to make
stabilization effective. The President has now set up by executive order a
new board which will have representation from all segments.
Our tax message was designed to conduct Defense Program on a pay as you go
basis. Committee has been studying tax approach and will meet again next
week. There has been considerable resistance from different groups who are
seeking exemptions. This had held up progress of Defense Program. Will
appear before Ways and Means again and reaffirm our desire to operate on
pay as you go basis. Unless we do inflation will run wild.
The problem is that we are in a serious situation which is not dramatic but
which is vital and dangerous.
Defense Dept has 3 enemies -
(1) Risk of visual aggression. We are making promising progress on this
front but not satisfactory as of yet.
(2) Inflation. That has cost us 2 billion out of every 10 billion since
(3) Relaxation. This has shown itself by reversal of attitude of Congress.
In December Congress was talking full war mobilization. It was in an
attitude of gluttony. Now the attitude is to minimize the need for vital
The Senate 2 months ago got out a good universal service & training bill.
It went to the House which is now trying to split up the bill and by so
doing will defeat the program. The proposed limitations being sought by
Congressional groups will be most dangerous to our national security. The
coming weeks will provide a very tough battle to maintain our objectives of
UMT and Universal Service.
Thinks we will get a postal rate increase through Congress but it does not
look like we will do much on publications rate.
March 26, 1951*
The Government Division of the Red Cross Drive is in bad shape. All
departments are falling down badly. Pleaded for support for increased
Farm prices in many categories are lower in 1950 than in 1949. Increases
in consumer prices are not being passed on to the farmer. He is doing
everything possible to get production - and his profits do not compare in
any way with profits of 50 large corporations in the U. S.
There are too many committees in Congress conducting repetitious
investigations which are delaying our production effort by tying up time of
Suggested Sawyer sit down with the chairmen of the committees and try to
pull the investigations into a central jurisdiction.
Latest price index has gone through the roof. It is vital to get
stabilization and quickly. Urged consideration of Govt subsidy for
certain food items which will check price rises and help to bring about
Referred to Brannan's statement about 50 corporations which he agreed was
true and unconscionable. However as these companies go into defense
production their profits will drop off. Thought that we should siphon off
some of these profits. Thinks that no company should get more than 10%
gross profit on any defense work.
*Connelly's notes show no break between end of March 20 meeting and
beginning of March 26 meeting.
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