Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Truman, Harry S., 1884-1972; Forrestal, James, 1892-1949; Wallace, Henry A. (Henry Agard), 1888-1965; Anderson, Clinton Presba, 1895-1975; Krug, Julius A. (Julius Albert), 1907-1970; Byrnes, James F. (James Francis), 1882-1972; McKellar, Kenneth Douglas,
Cabinet meetings; Nuclear weapons testing; Legislation

Cabinet Meeting Minutes, July 26, 1946. Matthew J. Connelly Papers - Notes on Cabinet Meetings I.

CABINET MEEIING, FRIDAY, JULY 26, 1946

PROPOSED AGENDA

1. The Secretary of the Navy will give a report on his recent trip.

THE PRESIDENT

Asked the Secretary of the Navy to make a report on the Bikini tests.

THE SECRETARY OF THE NAVY FORRESTAL

Gave a detailed account of his personal observations during his recent visit to Bikini. Believed that the first test held would prove to be the least significant and that the two additional tests which had been planned would provide a well-rounded picture of the effect of the atomic bomb on future naval operations. He stated that it would also provide additional scientific data which has heretofore not been available to scientists and military leaders. Secretary provided a colorful description of the bomb explosion but stated that the technical details would later be reported by the officers and scientists assigned as observers.

THE PRESIDENT

Secretary of the Interior made the suggestion that a message be sent to Congress on the day of adjournment outlining what the president's legislative program was and what part thereof has been accomplished.

SECRETARY OF STATE BYRNES

Disagreed with this proposal and said that such a message would indict many of the members seeking reelection.

SECRETARY OFAGRICULTURE ANDERSON

Also disagreed with Krug's proposal.

SECRETARY OF STATE BYRNES

Stated that he believed the President would have to call the Senate back about November 15th if agreements are reached in Paris. These agreements must be ratified by the Senate and he believed that it would have a very bad effect on the international situation if we would allow this ratification to go off until January. He stressed the importance of this feature in bringing home to the world our vital interest in achieving world peace.

THE PRESIDENT

Advised Senator McKellar that the emergency appropriation for the OPA must go through. President had written letters to McKellar and Clarence Cannon, Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee. The Labor Department appropriation has riders on the bill which are impossible to administer. He has received recommendations from the Budget Bureau to veto this bill. In the meantime the Labor Department is out of funds. The President recalled that he has always opposed rider legislation. The President discussed S. 704, the bill to transfer federal lands to veterans. The President stated that he had a recommendation to veto this bill.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ANDERSON

Stated that he did not believe S. 704 should be vetoed. Purpose is to provide farm land in small units to farmers. It will not jeopardize mineral rights of the federal government. Total area of tracts is relatively small. He compared the features of this bill with the Rural Rehabilitation Projects.

SECRETARY OF INTERIOR KRUG

Emphatically stated that he did not agree with Anderson. It is the established policy of the government to hold on to mineral rights.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ANDERSON

Stated he was not satisfied in his own mind just what the government policy is with respect to such mineral rights.

THE PRESIDENT

Asked if it would be too difficult to obtain map showing locations of the tracts involved in this bill.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ANDERSON

Agreed to provide this information.

SECRETARY OF COMMERCE WALLACE

Suggested signing the bill with a strong message to the effect that unless the government policy with respect to mineral rights is protected in the future the President will have no recourse but to veto any similar legislation.

The Byrd Amendment setting ceilings on personnel is penalizing the operation of CAA and other departments which have been inheriting additional duties and activities. He asked that the President seek from the Budget Bureau sympathetic treatment for the problems facing such agencies. He further stated that in principal this bill amounted to Congress stepping in to run the executive branch of the government.

SECRETARY OF AGRICULTURE ANDERSON

Expects difficulty in rolling back prices to June 30th levels. Some items are now higher but certain commodities are lower than they were on June 30th. He stated that adjustments will have to be made in order to offset these conditions.


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