The President’s News Conference of June 29, 1950

Harry S. Truman

June 29, 1950

THE PRESIDENT. I have an announcement to make.

We have appointed an economic survey mission to go to the Philippines as soon as it can make the arrangements.

It is headed by the Honorable Daniel W. Bell, president of the American Security and Trust Co. of Washington and former Under Secretary of the Treasury; and by Gen. Richard J. Marshall, president of the Virginia Military Institute.

And as soon as the appointment of the mission is completed, why they will leave for the Philippines as promptly as possible.

This mission was appointed at the request of the Philippine President. He made that request of me when he was here on his visit.

And we have had some difficulty in finding the people to head the mission, and in ironing out some differences between the various departments of the Government. Everything has been ironed out now, and that mission will go to work.

That’s all the announcements I have to make.

Q. Mr. President, just to set the record straight, is there or has there been any differences among members of your Cabinet on your policy statement of Tuesday regarding the–

THE PRESIDENT. Never was any differences. Never has been.

Q. Mr. President, did you have a call from the Ambassador of Australia this afternoon?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I did not.

Q. Mr. President, I have been re-quested to ask you this question. Was there on the high seas, at the time that South Korea was attacked, was there a shipment of heavy artillery and antitank weapons on its way to the South Korean Government?

THE PRESIDENT. Can’t answer that question, for I don’t know.

I intended to tell you that there will be a statement on this Philippine situation which will be handed to you when you go out.

I can’t answer your question, because I don’t know.

 

Q. Mr. President, since issuing your statement, have you had any indication as to the effect that it may have on peace?

THE PRESIDENT. My idea in issuing the statement and the orders preliminary to the issuance of the statement was that it is a move in favor of peace. If I hadn’t thought that, I would have taken other steps.

Q. Have you, sir–have you had any indication as to whether it is being universally accepted as that?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, only that most of the members of the United Nations are in full accord with what we are doing.

Q. Mr. President, everybody is asking in this country, are we or are we not at war?

THE PRESIDENT. We are not at war.

Q. Mr. President, another question that is being asked is, are we going to use ground troops in Korea?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment on that.

Q. Mr. President, in that connection it has been asked whether there might be any possibility of having to use the atomic bomb?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment.

Q. Mr. President, the Alaska and Hawaii statehood bills are being filed in the Senate this afternoon. Do you think that there will be time for the Senate to act on those bills at this session?

THE PRESIDENT. Why not? It wouldn’t take 10 minutes to do what they have got to do and vote yes and no.

Q. Do you expect to use your good offices–

THE PRESIDENT. Certainly do.

Q. –to act strongly for the admission of those two states? Thank you.

Q. Mr. President, have you had any report on Russian reaction through any official channels?

THE PRESIDENT. No, I have not.

Q. Mr. President, James Roosevelt had a press conference this morning. Can you tell us whether you support him as strongly as he indicated?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I am. I want to see a Democrat Governor in California, and I told him I hoped he would be elected, and that I would do anything I could to help him get elected.

Q. Another question, Mr. President. Are you going to call in Ed Pauley on this Korean situation?

THE PRESIDENT. Ask that question again. I didn’t hear you.

Q. Are you going to call in Ed Pauley on this Korean situation as an adviser–

THE PRESIDENT. I haven’t talked to Mr. Pauley, if that is what you asked me.

Q. Mr. President, the Joint Atomic Energy Committee this morning pulled a sleeper and voted not to approve the nomination of Mr. Sumner Pike, who is acting as Chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission. I wonder whether you would comment on that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I can’t understand it, because Mr. Pike has been one of the ablest members of that Commission, and one of its most faithful members. I think the Atomic Energy Committee should take another look at it, and another vote.

Q. Mr. President, could you elaborate on this statement that–I believe the direct quote was, “We are not at war.” And could we use that quote in quotes?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes, I will allow you to use that. We are not at war.

Q. Could you elaborate sir, a little more on the reason for this move, and the peace angle on it?

THE PRESIDENT. The Republic of Korea was set up with the United Nations help. It is a recognized government by the members of the United Nations. It was unlawfully attacked by a bunch of bandits which are neighbors of North Korea. The United Nations Security Council held a meeting and passed on the situation and asked the members to go to the relief of the Korean Republic.

And the members of the United Nations are going to the relief of the Korean Republic to suppress a bandit raid on the Republic of Korea.

Q. Mr. President, would it be correct, against your explanation, to call this a police action under the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes. That is exactly what it amounts to.

Q. Mr. President, in a speech in the Senate yesterday, Senator Taft suggested that Mr. Acheson ought to resign. Would you comment on that, please?

THE PRESIDENT. I think that the political statement of Mr. Taft at this time is entirely uncalled for.

Q. Can we put that in quotes?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. Mr. President, that quote was, “I think the political statement of Mr. Taft at this time is entirely uncalled for”?

THE PRESIDENT. Uncalled for. That is correct.

Q. Mr. President, Senator Taft also said that you have reversed Secretary Acheson.

THE PRESIDENT. Not a word of truth in that, and you can put that in quotes, too. [Laughter] Ask the question again, and I will give you the answer.

Q. Senator Taft also said that you had reversed Secretary Acheson. Would you comment on that, sir?

THE PRESIDENT. I say there isn’t a word of truth in that. [More laughter]

Q. Mr. President, were you disappointed in the results of the North Carolina senatorial race?

THE PRESIDENT. I was very friendly to Doctor Graham.

Q. Mr. President, if you were in North Carolina, would you vote the straight Democratic ticket?

THE PRESIDENT. Surely I would. I would vote the Democratic ticket no matter where I should happen to be.

Q. Mr. President, the Export-Import Bank Directors called on you last week about the Mexican loan. Is there anything you could comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. They discussed several things besides the Mexican loan, and I have no comment on the visit. It was a friendly visit, at my request.

Which Tony had the floor? [Laughter]

Q. I miss so many questions. I am getting old–I didn’t catch them all. I get all your answers.

THE PRESIDENT. The question was what was the cause of the visit of the Export-Import Bank Directors to the President, and was the Mexican loan discussed. A great many subjects were discussed. It was a friendly visit by the Directors on the President, at his request. No pressure was being put on them for anything.

Q. Mr. President, when you referred to police action, do I understand you mean United Nations police action?

THE PRESIDENT. I beg your pardon?

Q. When you refer to police action on behalf of Korea, you mean United Nations–

THE PRESIDENT. That is correct. That is correct.

Q. Mr. President, a minute ago you said South Korea was attacked by a bunch of bandits, then made this reference to them being neighbors. Do I understand you told us neighbors of Korea, or neighbors in Korea?

THE PRESIDENT. They are neighbors of South Korea.

Q. Do you have any comment on India’s decision to support the United Nations?

THE PRESIDENT. I am very happy, of course. I was sure that India would do that.

Q. Mr. President, since you have been so very gracious with some of the other direct quotes, may we quote “bandits” directly, too?

THE PRESIDENT. Yes.

Q. The Argentine Chamber of Deputies overwhelmingly voted approval of ratification of the hemispheric defense treaty adopted at Rio de Janeiro. Would you comment on that?

THE PRESIDENT. I am very happy about that. I knew about it yesterday, and I am very happy that it took place.

Q. Mr. President, as a result of the action in Korea, are we apt to expedite the Japanese peace treaty?

THE PRESIDENT. I can’t comment on that.

Q. Mr. President, in view of the pressed conditions in the situation in Korea, do you now feel that it is necessary to increase the speed with which we are ordering munitions–

THE PRESIDENT. I can’t comment on that.

Q. Mr. President, any comment on the fact that the Russians are cutting off power in West Berlin?

THE PRESIDENT. No comment. I have not been officially notified of it. I heard about it, but I have not been officially notified of it.

Q. Mr. President, in spite of the apparent reverses in South Korea, do you have any doubt that we will enable South Korea to remain an independent republic?

THE PRESIDENT. Sure–that’s what the program is for.

Q. Mr. President, the Council of Organization of American States yesterday adopted a resolution reasserting the solidarity of the American Republics. Has that come to your attention, and do you wish to comment?

THE PRESIDENT. That has not come to my attention, but I am glad they did that.

Q. Mr. President, the Senate Appropriations Committee has just cut off an-other quarter of a billion dollars from the Marshall plan bills. Any comment about that?

THE PRESIDENT. I don’t believe that bill is ready for comment yet. When it comes to me, then I will comment on it.

Q. Mr. President, just to dear the record, Mr. Bourgholtzer asked you if you had a doubt, and you said certainly–

THE PRESIDENT. Certainly–certainly not.

Q. No doubt–

THE PRESIDENT. Tony, you’re getting so you can’t hear. [Laughter]

Q. Tony was right. That’s what you said, Mr. President.

Q. I believe you said surely, sir. You didn’t say certainly, you said sure.

THE PRESIDENT. There is no doubt that the program will be to maintain the Korean Republic. The Republic of Korea I think is the proper name.

Q. Mr. President, you had a conference with Stuart Symington. Does that mean that the NSRB program will be speeded up?

THE PRESIDENT. Well, it has been speeded up all the time. It will be carried on in the same expeditious manner in which it has always been carried on.

Q. Did the Korean thing have anything–

THE PRESIDENT. What’s that?

Q. Did the Korean–

THE PRESIDENT. Not a thing in the world. Symington has a session with me twice a week, for 30 minutes each time, as did Doctor Steelman when he was running the same organization.

Q. Mr. President, your “no comment” on the atomic bomb might be subject to misinterpretation. Has there been any change–

THE PRESIDENT. No comment will be made on any matter of strategy. I don’t expect to comment on any matter of strategy.

Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.

THE PRESIDENT. You’re welcome.

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