Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972; Fleming, Philip B. (Philip Bracken), 1887-1955; Krug, Julius A. (Julius Albert), 1907-1970; Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-1975; Acheson, Dean, 1893-1971; Steelman, John Roy, 1900-1999; Clark, Tom C. (Tom Campbell), 1899-1977;
Cabinet meetings; Labor leaders; Strikes and lockouts; Labor disputes; Price regulation; Housing policy

Cabinet Meeting Minutes, December 6, 1946. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings II.

CABINET MEETING, DECEMBER 6, 1946

THE PRESIDENT

...Alaska - wants relief from strike of shipping on West Coast. Abrogate tariff wall between Canada & Alaska until March 1st.

SCHWELLENBACH

Jones Act governs--Alaska has been trying to get this repealed for years. Does not think that as a long term policy it should be done. There certainly is an emergency and on a temporary basis it might be OK. And if it is done it might be a good thing to give the unions on the West Coast a slap in the face.

KRUG

Thinks it must be done --the thing has drifted too far already.

THE PRESIDENT

We can't let the people of Alaska starve. Ordered A. G. to prepare order.

ACHESON

It should not be limited to Canada. It should be broad order.

THE PRESIDENT

Sen. Wiley asked Cabinet officers to give him report on War Powers Act. Pres. asked that the Executive branch work together. Use John Steelman as clearing house on matters of this kind. Frowned on Rep. Senators blackmailing or trading with Cabinet members for favors on the basis of favors returned.

Asked Gen. Fleming to take office of Liquidation under his authority for the time being.

ANDERSON

Suggested Frank Creedon for Wyatt's job.

PATTERSON

Seconded Anderson's suggestion of Creedon who is a practical engineer. (Check on WAA resignation)

THE PRESIDENT

Agreed--says he is on top of list now.

ANDERSON

There should be no decontrol of sugar. Food Advisory Committee concurs.

If decontrolled there would be a sharp increase in sugar prices.

THE PRESIDENT

Ordered Anderson, Steelman & Fleming get together and determine where and how the control of sugar be maintained on the passing of OPA. Will have meeting next week with Anderson, State & Commerce on food situation.

Plans to go on air with coal strike speech Sunday night.

Ordered War & Navy to get ready to go into mining when ordered.

Lewis has best contract he ever had--the strike is his own making. He is out on limb. We will now saw him off.

Krug has done everything possible.

The situation now is we either have a government or we have not.

The speech will be a statement of facts --and that this is a fight to a finish.

Referred to Sen. Capehart visit of yesterday--wanted Pres. to appease Lewis as starting next Monday his company will start losing $1,000 a day.

SCHWELLENBACH

Has only one request — that no one try to appease Lewis. (Doubts wisdom of another trial in near future.)

THE PRESIDENT

That is exactly what we are going to do.

A. G.

U. M. W. put up 3 million in govt bonds this morning. Plans to file appeal with Supreme Court this afternoon. May be able to get case before Supreme Court on next Monday. There is a difference of opinion as to whether to proceed under Smith-Connally Act for criminal prosecution of Lewis and District Leaders--Some fearful this would irritate members of Supreme Court- - A. G. does not think so.

THE PRESIDENT

Says A. G. should go ahead on criminal proceedings. Wants to announce it on Sunday night.

KRUG

Thinks this should be done about Thurs of next week.

PATTERSON

Thinks that announcement of criminal prosecution will be helpful. Thinks that something will bust before trials can be held.

THE PRESIDENT

Regardless of action of the Supreme Court we should go ahead under Smith-Connally Act.

ACHESON

Warren Austin is about to marshall the Green Mountain boys and start marching on Moscow--re U. N. site--no trend has developed whether east or west--yesterday the Russians made a very offensive speech accusing Austin of lobbying for San Francisco--seems to state that Austin should make no decision.

THE PRESIDENT

Has been careful to keep out of discussion and let the matter be decided by the U. N. members themselves.

GARDNER (for Treasury)

The coal situation brings out the necessity for our government to show the people that one man can't assume the authority to overthrow the sovereignty of our government. People now think that Lewis is a criminal and the govt is pussyfooting.

SCHWELLENBACH

This is a test of the strength of the American people themselves. The govt comes from the strength of the American people.

KRUG

We are getting 2 million tons of coal a week now. In 2 weeks we will not be able to deliver coal for house heating. Raised question of strike breaking.

THE PRESIDENT

This is not