Cabinet Meeting Minutes, March 15, 1946. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings I.
CABINET MEETING, FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 1946
The President read message with respect to the Social Security Act. Requested Cabinet members who are familiar with the subject to testify at Committee hearings. Stated that Administrator Watson Miller and OWMR Director Snyder both inform him, that such testimony is necessary.
Stated that he believed the Agriculture Department should be authorized to state the farmers viewpoint on social security. Seasonal nature of farm employment requires special treatment.
Concurs with Secretary Anderson's viewpoint.
Requested Cabinet members to be prepared for further discussion on the subject at the meeting to be held in two weeks. The President then read a memorandum pertaining to patents of enemy origin, calling upon the Alien Property Custodian to adopt policy with respect to such patents. The memorandum was prepared by the State Department.
Discussed the general food program for the relief of Europe. The drive was opened at a meeting on March 4th at which the President appeared. Another meeting was held on March 8th and paid employees of the Department of Agriculture are now being used in various states and counties in connection with this drive. The major part of the drive is being centered around the Agricultural agent in the various counties. The Department is also using personnel which has been assigned to the clothing collection drive and which amounts to a large group.
Representatives of various industries who were called in by the City were without exception selfish. Bakers say cut down everything but bread. However, he found that when representatives of the various industries were seated around the table together they were in agreement that cuts should he made in domestic consumption if our goals are to be met in feeding starving countries.
The Secretary read a memorandum with recommendations for cutbacks on food consumption. He discussed meeting of March 14th of the Combined Food Board of the United States, Britain and Canada. The British requested reduction of shipments to Chinese and other countries but stressed the necessity for increases in shipments for India and to the overall sphere of British influence. This was not conceded by the Committee. Secretary Anderson is of the strong opinion that there must be a wheat surplus in Russia, and that there should be a substantial surplus. The contributions made by Russia to France have solved the situation in that country for the balance of the year. This removes any fears we might have about a famine picture in France.
In the case of Japan, General McArthur [MacArthur] has overstated the requirements. Those requirements are being cut back. Japan will get 100,000 tons in May. The April allotment is set for 250,000 tons. The Russians have indicated that they will be helpful to us. There is no feeling of confidence with respect to the figures received from UNRRA by members of the Joint Food Board. The rice figure is disturbing. He thinks that if the British would try an incentive the situation would be tremendously improved. The war has found the British to be extremely difficult in connection with the entire rice situation. He has found that as usual, the British want all their cake and want to eat it too.