Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1945

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Author: Harry S Truman  | Date: October 3, 1945

157
The President’s News Conference of
October 3, 1945

THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I want to announce some appointments first:

Watson B. Miller, of Maryland, to be Federal Security Administrator.

Lowell B. Mason, of Illinois, to be on the Federal Trade Commission for an unexpired term from September 25, 1942, succeeding Commissioner March, deceased.

Q. Do you know Commissioner March’s full name?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I don’t; I can get it for you, Tony. 1

1 Ernest B. Vaccaro, Associated Press.

John F. Sonnett—S-o-n-n-e-t-t—to be Assistant Attorney General, succeeding Francis M. Shea, whose resignation was announced today; he’s gone to work for Mr. Jackson over in Europe.

Q. Francis M. Shea?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes; he’s the one that resigned, and John F. Sonnett is taking his place.

[2.] I have a statement here on the Philippines I’m going to read:

"As you know, President Osmena of the Philippines is in Washington. On Monday, I conferred with him and with the High Commissioner to the Philippines, Mr. McNutt, and the Acting Secretary of the Interior, Mr. Fortas. I propose to confer again with President Osmena and to formulate a broad program for this government with respect to the Philippines. This program will, of course, reflect the traditional friendship of the people of the United States and of the Philippines, and it will take account of the heroic and loyal conduct of the Filipinos during the war. In preparation for my further conferences with President Osmena, I have asked Mr. McNutt and Mr. Fortas to consult with the President of the Philippines with respect to all matters of mutual interest.

"At the moment, I want to clarify the question of the date upon which Philippine independence may be expected. Under the statutes now in force, independence is scheduled for July 4, 1946, or sooner if the President of the United States shall so proclaim. There has been wide speculation as to whether a date prior to July 4, 1946, will be fixed.This speculation has introduced a high degree of uncertainty at a very critical time in Philippine affairs, and has resulted in some confusion in the programs of both the Commonwealth government and United States agencies.

"It would be neither just nor fair to the loyal people of the Philippines who have been our brothers in war as well as in peace, to proclaim their independence until the necessary program for rehabilitation has been worked out and until there has been a determination of the fundamental problems involved in our mutual relationship after independence. Additional time is also required to enable the Philippine government to set its own house in order and to hold a free democratic election.

"To assist in the orderly working out of these problems, I am taking this opportunity to state that I do not intend to consider advancing the proclamation of Philippine independence to a date earlier than July 4, 1946, until the necessary measures which I have outlined have been taken."

I want to be sure that the Filipinos have been properly reconditioned so that when they do become a free and independent nation they can stand as a free and independent nation; and we owe that to the Filipinos because they have been our friends in this war.

[3.] I’ve got a new board—issued an Executive order setting up a new board to replace the existing board to make recommendations on the awarding of medals of merit to civilians who have performed meritorious service in the war. I appointed Judge Owen J. Roberts to be the chairman and Lt. Gen. William Knudsen and Stephen T. Early to be members of that board.

[4.] I sent down to Congress a few minutes ago a message on the atomic bomb, a copy of which will be available to you when you go out. It suggests to Congress that they set up a commission to control the atomic energy development so that it may not become a monopoly, and that the plants which we now have for the creation of atomic energy be maintained and kept in operation, and that further research and development be pursued for the welfare of humanity; and I also informed the Congress that I will send them at a later date a message with regard to the atomic bomb. On this first message the first parthas to do with the control of atomic energy for peacetime purposes, and the control of it for wartime use is a matter that will be taken up at a later date.

I am ready for cross-examination.

[5.] Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can say on the lack of policy on wages?

THE PRESIDENT. I think the only thing I can say—I thought somebody might ask me a question like that—will be to read an extract from an Executive order issued on August 18, 1945, which establishes wage policy. This is part IV; there are three paragraphs of it, and if you will bear with me I will read them to you. It’s rather dry:

"1. The National War Labor Board, and such other agencies as may be designated"—

It has been said by a lot of people that there is no wage policy, nationally.

—"by the Director of Economic Stabilization with the approval of the Director of War Mobilization and Reconversion, are authorized to provide that employers may, through collective bargaining with duly certified or recognized representatives of the employees involved or, if there is no such representative, by voluntary action, make wage or salary increases without the necessity of obtaining approval therefor, upon the condition that such increases will not be used in whole or in part as the basis for seeking an increase in price ceilings, or for resisting otherwise justifiable reductions in price ceilings, or, in the case of products or services being furnished under contract with a federal procurement agency, will not increase the costs to the United States.

"2. In addition to the authority to approve increases to correct gross inequities and for other specified purposes, conferred by Section 2 of Title II of Executive Order 9250, the National War Labor Board or other designated agency is hereby authorized to approve, without regard to the limitations contained in any other orders or directives, such increases as may be necessary to correct maladjustments or inequities which would interfere with the effective transition to a peacetime economy; provided, however, that in dispute cases this additional authority shall not be used to direct increases to be effective as of a date prior to the date of this order.

"Where the National War Labor Board or other designated agency, or the Price Administrator, shall have reason to believe that a proposed wage or salary increase will require a change in the price ceiling of the commodity or services involved, such proposed increase, if approved by the National War Labor Board or such other designated agency under the authority of this section shall become effective only if also approved by the Director of Economic Stabilization.

"3. Officials charged with the settlement of labor disputes in accordance with the terms of Executive Order 9017 and Section 7 of the War Labor Disputes Act shall consider that labor disputes which would interrupt work contributing to the production of military supplies or interfere with effective transition to a peacetime economy are disputes which interrupt work contributing to the effective prosecution of the war."

That has been in effect ever since August 18, and I think is a definite labor policy—wage policy, I mean.

Q. Mr. President, that’s a wage policy put into effect during the war, and—

THE PRESIDENT. No, August 18.

Q. What date did you say?

THE PRESIDENT. August 18, 1945. And that was set up with the approval of the Secretary of Labor, the labor organizations, and of industry. They all sat right here and approved that.

Q. You call attention to it because it’s still—

THE PRESIDENT. It’s still the policy of the Government; that’s sure.

[6.] Q. Mr. President, anything to say about the London conference?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven’t; Mr. Byrnes will be here in a short time, and we’ll let him make the necessary report.

[7.] Q. What do you think of the Russian renewal of their demand for a four-power control commission for Japan?

THE PRESIDENT. I only know what I’ve seen in the papers; I’ve had no official notice, and I’ll have to discuss it with Mr. Byrnes.

[8.] Q. Do you have any comment on the situation in Argentina?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven’t.

[9.] Q. Mr. President, have you received any request from the British to send troops to Palestine?

THE PRESIDENT. No. I haven’t.

[10.] Q. Mr. President, there seems to be a dispute about the use of funds for child-care centers; have you taken notice of that?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I have extended it to October 31 and I am considering seriously sending up a request to Congress that they extend it to March 31.1 But that will require several million dollars.

1See Item 1.59.

[11.] Q. Has there been any request for this Government to assume joint responsibility with the people of Great Britain in the Palestine situation ?

THE PRESIDENT. No.

[12.] Q. Have you talked with Ed Pauley about his future activities?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven’t; I haven’t seen Mr. Pauley for some time. He said he would come to see me.

[13.] Q. We hear from London that the United Nations has decided to locate within the United States; have you any particular sites in mind?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I haven’t. I do have a message from Mr. Stettinius that they did vote to locate the headquarters in the United States, and that China and Australia favor San Francisco. He pointed out there were other available locations in the United States. The specific message will be discussed later. I just got it before this conference.

[14.] Q. Is it your intention to keep the Coast Guard under the Navy?

THE PRESIDENT. It will be returned to the Treasury at the proper time.

[15.] Q. Can you tell us anything about your conference with Mr. Mollison?

THE PRESIDENT. I appointed him to be judge of the Court of Customs.

Q. The nomination gone up?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, it went up at noon.

Q. We didn’t get it.

THE PRESIDENT. It was supposed to be in your hands. I thought I would be repeating it.

[16.] Q. It has been about a week since your conference with the Democratic Ways and Means Committee, and nothing has happened on the compensation bill. Are you thinking of—

THE PRESIDENT. I think if you give the Ways and Means Committee time, they’ll do something about it.

[17.] Q. During Mr. Mackenzie King’s call Sunday was there any consideration of the atomic bomb?

THE PRESIDENT. We discussed every subject in which Canada and the United States are interested, but I am not at liberty to make any statement.

[18.] Q. Mr. President, in your message about the atomic bomb do you have any recommendation about mineral lands not owned by the Government?

THE PRESIDENT. There’s a recommendation that a commission be given power to purchase all such land.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You are entirely welcome.

NOTE: President Truman’s twenty- office at the White House at 4:05 p.m. eighth news conference was held in his on Wednesday, October 3, 1945.

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Chicago: Harry S Truman, "157 the President’s News Conference of," Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1945 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1945 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.589-590 368–372. Original Sources, accessed April 25, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CN7DCM1JIMW8QAA.

MLA: Truman, Harry S. "157 the President’s News Conference of." Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1945, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1945 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.589-590, pp. 368–372. Original Sources. 25 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CN7DCM1JIMW8QAA.

Harvard: Truman, HS, '157 the President’s News Conference of' in Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1945. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1945 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.589-590, pp.368–372. Original Sources, retrieved 25 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=CN7DCM1JIMW8QAA.