Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

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

THE PRESIDENT

Secretary of War prepared a memorandum on atomic energy and after some consideration the President had rewritten it.

SECRETARY PATTERSON

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.

THE PRESIDENT

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.

SECRETARY ANDERSON

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 UNRRA.

SECRETARY PATTERSON

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.

SECRETARY ANDERSON

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.

SECRETARY PATTERSON

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.

SECRETARY ANDERSON

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.

SECRETARY PATTERSON

Stated that he was opposed to alien slave labor in the United States.

SECRETARY ANDERSON

Stated that this objection is commendable but it will not result in the production of needed food.

SECRETARY PATTERSON

Stated that it was the farmers personal interests to retain the prisoners of war as long as they can.

SECRETARY BYRNES

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.

SENATOR McKELLAR

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.

SECRETARY SCHWELLENBACH

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.

THE PRESIDENT

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.

SECRETARY SCHWELLENBACH

No settlement can be reached until Charles Wilson regains his health. He has already told Reuther that the government cannot settle this strike.

SECRETARY FORRESTAL

It is his opinion that Reuther is conducting a political campaign instead of working for the people he represents.

SECRETARY ANDERSON

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 history.


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