Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972; Patterson, Robert Porter, 1891-1952; Snyder, John W. (John Wesley), 1895-1985; McKellar, Kenneth Douglas, 1869-1957; Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-1975; Byrnes, James F. (James Francis), 1882-1972; Schwellenbach, Lewis B. (Le
Cabinet meetings; Food aid; Food relief; Military occupation; Strikes and lockouts; Prisoners of war
Cabinet Meeting Minutes, March 8, 1946. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings I.
CABINET MEETING, FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 1946
Secretary of War prepared a memorandum on atomic energy and after some
consideration the President had rewritten it.
It is not certain that at this time any announcement should be made.
SECRETARY SNYDER AND SENATOR McKELLAR
Both recommended that the President make no announcement.
Agreed. The President also stated he would report on the wool situation,
due to the fact that the British are proposing world control on wool
supplies. President stated that he was very much opposed to this. Cabinet
members present were in agreement with the President.
Thinks there would be serious political situation if corn-hog ratio is
changed at this time. Thinks that the commitments made by the
administration to the farmers should be lived up to. He also stated that
Governor Lehman was not happy over the allocations which had been made to
General McArthur's [MacArthur's] situation in Japan is approaching a critical stage.
Unless relief is granted there will be famine in Japan. Japanese should
have 400,000 tons of grain a month in order to offset the situation.
Stated that he is desirous of having Japanese plant in spring a vegetable
crop. This program could be handled before the rice crop is begun.
It is our responsibility to prevent famine in Japan. If food requirements
are not met we will have to increase number of soldiers in the occupation
forces. He stated that the most unsolvable problem in Japan at this time
is its high birth rate.
Discussed prisoner of war situation. Western Senators are disturbed over
return of prisoners of war to England. France, Russia and Britain do not
produce food but have all the benefits of prisoner of war labor. This fact
will not set well with American farmers.
Stated that he was opposed to alien slave labor in the United States.
Stated that this objection is commendable but it will not result in the
production of needed food.
Stated that it was the farmers personal interests to retain the prisoners
of war as long as they can.
We all talk about the Soviet Government but we cannot afford to put
ourselves in the same category they criticize. Therefore, we must release
prisoners of war to homelands. Stated that this was agreed to at Potsdam
and that we should comply with this agreement.
Raised question as to what was wrong with getting Mexican labor.
SECRETARIES ANDERSON AND BYRNES
Stated Mexican government does not want Mexicans to work in the States
where they were formerly abused.
His information is that Mexicans do not want to work in sugar fields. They
consider that work to be too difficult for the pay received.
Suggested that the Secretary of Agriculture to look into it further and
come in and talk to him about it on the following Monday. Asked Secretary
Schwellenbach what status is of General Motors strike.
No settlement can be reached until Charles Wilson regains his health. He
has already told Reuther that the government cannot settle this strike.
It is his opinion that Reuther is conducting a political campaign
instead of working for the people he represents.
Expects that packing plants will be returning to work during the following
week. Reported largest shipment of coal has been shipped to Europe in our
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