Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1948

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Author: Harry S Truman  | Date: June 8, 1948

120
Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Idaho and Montana.
June 8, 1948

[1.] ARCO, IDAHO (Rear platform, 9:50 a.m.)


Governor, Mayor Marvel, the chairman of the Democratic Committee:

I am indeed happy to have had the opportunity to stop here this morning. It is a surprise to me, I didn’t know it was going to happen. It looks to me as if about half of Idaho is here this morning. I have had a very pleasant ride—seen a lot of things I have never seen before. Got a chance to see some dry farming, some irrigated land, and untold thousands of sheep. I saw some kind of animal down here on the left-hand side of the road a while ago, I don’t know whether it was a deer or an elk or what it was. It was so far away, I couldn’t recognize it. Probably couldn’t have recognized it if it had been up close!

I appreciate very much the cordiality of the reception that has been given to me in the great State of Idaho, and I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate the privilege of meeting all of you this morning. You arevery, very kind to take the trouble to turn out and to give me a welcome like this. Thank you very much.

[2.] BLACKFOOT, IDAHO (Rear platform, 11:35 a.m.)


It is a pleasure indeed for me to pass through here. I have observed the countryside on the way, and I hope we can get more water for this part of the world, and impound more water so that you will have more to use.

I sent a message to Congress on that very subject not so long ago, but they didn’t pay much attention to it. Maybe we can wake them up. That is what I hope to do on this trip.

I can’t tell you how very much I appreciate this turnout. It is wonderful.

[3.] IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO (Rally, 12:25 p.m.)


Thank you very much. I appreciate most highly that cordial reception and that kind introduction. And I also appreciate very much that Boy Scout shirt and the cards and the pictures of Idaho which the Eagle Scout here handed to me. He has all the badges that it is possible for a Scout to get, I think. He is a fine looking young man. I understand you are going to have a Scout rally here tonight—a Scout circus. I wish I could be present. You know, I am the Honorary President of the Boy Scouts of America.

I appreciate the privilege of getting a chance to stop at Idaho Falls. I understand you raise a lot of potatoes here. You also have a very loyal citizenship.

During the war I was up in Presque Isle, Maine, making an investigation of an air field up there, and I heard that there was an Idaho boy in the guardhouse. I inquired as to why he was in the guardhouse. He had been on kitchen police and he refused to peel Maine potatoes.

I also understand that you have an industry here of making potato flour. It is a pity that Maine did not have that setup last year, they could have saved all those potatoes.

This town also, I am informed, has an electric plant all its own, the largest municipally-owned hydroelectric plant in the country. I like municipally-owned electric plants, and I like public power. I have been trying to improve the public power situation in the Northwest. I am not receiving very strong cooperation from the Congress. I came out here to see if we couldn’t needle them a little bit and get some action on some of the things that should be done in this part of the world.

As I came up here from Blackfoot, I think I saw some of the prettiest country I have ever laid eyes on. I noticed a house out here in the west of town, built in 1914, looked to be in the center of a very prosperous community. And I just wonder what this country looked like before we made use of this water. You can see what water can do where it is properly applied. That is the reason I am so interested in public power and in the development of the power and water of all these great rivers in the Northwest. I would like very much to see them developed to the extreme extent.

The contribution which this part of the world made to the feeding of the world during the war, and the feeding of the world after the war, is beyond compare in the history of the country.

I do appreciate this wonderful turnout here this morning. It seems to me that everybody in Idaho Fails is here. I can look both ways and I can’t see the end of the crowd on either side of the street.

Thank you very much. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the courtesy whichyou are paying to the President of the United States.

[4.] IDAHO FALLS, IDAHO (Rear platform, 12:35 p.m.)


This wonderful reception you are giving me warms the cockles of my heart. I just told the people up the street that I was glad to be in a town of your reputation. I have been told that you have the largest municipally-owned electric plant in the country, and that you have the cheapest power here. That is the reason you can carry on all these great industries.

I can’t tell you how very much I do appreciate the cordiality of your welcome to me as President, and I hope that sometime or other I can come back and stay longer and talk to you further, but we are behind schedule. We had to make so many stops coming over here. Nearly every town between here and Sun Valley, all the people in the towns turned out, and I couldn’t be discourteous to them and I had to stop and speak to them.

This is certainly a welcome that I had not anticipated.

Thank you very much.

[5.] DILLON, MONTANA (Rear platform, 4:40 p.m.)


My goodness, looks like half the State of Montana is here! I didn’t know I was going to stop in Dillon. I wish I had known I was going to stop here. I never saw a more enthusiastic crowd on this whole trip.

I have been having a most interesting and educational trip across the country. I have met a lot of people and a lot of people have met me. I wish it were possible for me to individually shake hands with every one of you. Of course you know that is absolutely impossible when the train is only supposed to stop a minute, but we will see if it won’t stop a little longer. They would hardly ever go off and leave the President talking.

I have just been down in Idaho and Wyoming and Nebraska and Ohio and Illinois, and I find that all the people are exceedingly friendly, and all the people are extremely anxious to find out just exactly what their President looks like, and what he proposes to do. And I have been trying to tell them all along the line.

I was particularly interested in the scenery back here in Montana. When we came into it, I was sitting at this back window here watching the land go by, or the train go along past the things that are worth looking at. We stopped at a little town called Lima and I had a chance to talk to some of the people around the train. The town has only 500 people, and the whole 500 were out. They were kind enough to tell me some of the things that they did. They told me that it was a railroad town, not much pasture land in that part of the country, but I found out afterwards that the great pastures in Montana are in the east of the State. I know something about trails. They run up from Texas and the South when they used to bring grass-fed cattle. Now they ship them in trains from one State to another and it doesn’t take so much time as it did at the time of the trails. I also know something about Montana’s mining assets, and they are magnificent, and I know something about Montana’s agricultural and irrigation problems, in which I am vitally interested, as I have said time and again.

I think the more of those problems that are consummated, the better it will be for the country and for the world. Had it not been for the production of our agricultural Midwest and Northwest, I don’t know what the country and the world would have done in this terrible war which we have been through.

You contributed to the food and the fiberand the minerals that have made it necessary to win that war. And now you are making that same contribution to win the peace. And of course the most important thing before us now is to win that peace. And if we can keep up our production and if we can keep up our support of the United Nations, so as to make it work, we are going to have that peace, because we are the most powerful Nation in the world, and we want nothing but peace in the world. That is what we fought the war for, and we don’t want to fight another one to get that peace. And if we will support the projects which I have sent to the Congress, you won’t have to fight that war.

Thank you very much, and I wish I could stay longer and see more of you, but I can’t. I have got a definite date in Butte tonight, and I must get there on time. That is a fetish with me, I try not to be late, and I don’t like for people to be late with me, either.

Thank you very much.

NOTE: In the course of his remarks on June 8 the President referred to C. A. Robins, Governor of Idaho, and W. S. Marvel, Mayor of Arco.

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Chicago: Harry S Truman, "120 Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Idaho and Montana.," Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1948 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1948 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.968-971 302–304. Original Sources, accessed April 23, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKD2R5PYUAB3JIT.

MLA: Truman, Harry S. "120 Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Idaho and Montana." Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1948, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1948 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.968-971, pp. 302–304. Original Sources. 23 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKD2R5PYUAB3JIT.

Harvard: Truman, HS, '120 Rear Platform and Other Informal Remarks in Idaho and Montana.' in Public Papers of Harry S. Truman, 1948. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Harry S Truman, 1948 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.968-971, pp.302–304. Original Sources, retrieved 23 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DKD2R5PYUAB3JIT.