|76. The President's News Conference|
July 5, 1945 |
THE PRESIDENT. [1.] I am sending down Edward C. Moran, Jr., former Congressman from Maine, as Second Assistant
Secretary of Labor, at the request of the Secretary of Labor.
I am sending down Jesse M. Donaldson to be First Assistant Postmaster General, at the request of the Postmaster General.
Q. Where is he from, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. Donaldson has been--I don't know where he is from. He has been with the Department all his life.
Q. That is First Assistant Postmaster General?
THE PRESIDENT. First Assistant Postmaster General. I have his record out there, which I will read to you, if you like.
[2.] I have a letter from the Secretary of the Treasury1 [reading]: "When Franklin D. Roosevelt came to Washington, he asked me
to come with him, stating that when he was through we would go back to Dutchess County together. For 12 of the most eventful
years in American history, I was associated with him, actively participating in meeting the important problems confronting the
country both before and during the war.
1Henry Morgenthau, Jr.
"Immediately after President Roosevelt's death, I told you how I felt, and stated that I wanted you to know that your hands were
untied as far as I was concerned. You were good enough to say that you needed my help and urged me to remain.
"Since then, with your support, I have completed many of the most urgent tasks that were then pending. As I told you this morning,
I feel the time has now come when I can appropriately be released from my responsibilities. Accordingly, I now tender my
resignation as Secretary of the Treasury. My preference was to have this resignation effective immediately, but since you stated
this morning that you wish me to remain until you return from Europe I will, of course, comply with your wishes.
"Permit me to express my appreciation of the fine support you have given me since you became President.
"I most fervently hope for the great success of your Administration in solving the difficult problems which lie ahead.
"If you wish to consult me at any time, I shall always be at your service."
[3.] And I wrote him [reading] : "Dear Henry: I am indeed sorry to learn that you have come to the conclusion that the time has
arrived to be released from your responsibilities as Secretary of the Treasury. I am grateful, however, that you are willing to
remain until I return from Europe so as to carry on the arduous work of the Treasury during my absence.
"Yours has been a very long and efficient service to our country-both in peace and in war; and your departure from the Treasury
will be a distinct loss.
"Your service to the nation began in 1933 in the days when you supervised the merger of the farm credit agencies into the Farm
Credit Administration which has done so much to help the farmers of the nation.
"Since you have been in the Treasury you have participated in formulating and administering a federal tax program which has
raised unprecedented tax revenues with a minimum of disturbance to our economy. These tax laws have seen an impartial and
efficient administration under your supervision.
"Under your supervision the Treasury through the sale of bonds has raised over two hundred billion dollars with which to finance
our defense and war activities. Raising this money was in itself a great achievement; but, in addition, it was accompanied by a
substantial reduction in the average rate of interest on the public debt.
"You have been a steady champion of international monetary stabilization ever since the early days of your administration as
Secretary of the Treasury. Through many years of activity and accomplishment in this field, your efforts are now bearing final
fruit in the Bretton Woods legislation now pending before the Congress of the United States. In this, and in other ways, you have
helped bring about the close fiscal cooperation which this government has had with its Allies during this war. Besides, in the days
before the Lend-Lease statute was enacted, many measures of cooperation with our Allies were formulated in your office.
"I am sure that you must feel a great sense of accomplishment in this outstanding record of service to our country. On behalf of
our people I extend to you the thanks of the nation.
"I am appreciative of your offer of service in the future, and I am sure that there will be many occasions on which I shall
seek your counsel."
Q. May I interrupt you just there? Have you a successor in mind, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. I have a successor in mind, but he will not be announced until I get back from Europe.
[4.] Now here is another letter from Chester Springs, Pennsylvania, dated June 30, 1945, addressed to the President [reading]: "As
I have served as a member of the Supreme Court for more than fifteen years, and have attained the age of seventy years, I desire
to avail myself of the provisions of Section 260 of the Judicial Code, as amended, (28 U.S. Code § 375),--"
Nobody but a Justice would write that. [Laughter]
"--and to resign my office as Associate Justice.
"Accordingly, I tender you my resignation, to take effect July 31, 1945.
"I am, Sir, with great respect, Sincerely yours, Owen J. Roberts"
[5.] "Dear Mr. Justice: I am indeed sorry that you have decided to retire from the Bench after your long service.
"The Supreme Court, in the period during which you have served as a member, has been called upon to pass upon some of the
most important economic and social problems in the history of our country.
"As I told you this afternoon when I saw you and finally agreed to accept your resignation as of July 31, 1945, I do so only on your
promise to continue to give your country the benefit of your sound judgment and advice as occasion arises.
"I extend to you the gratitude of the nation for the service you have rendered."
Q. Mr. President, I notice he resigned. Is that something different from the retirement the other Justices have?
THE PRESIDENT. I think he intended to retire. I think that is the sense under the statute he cites. I think he intends to
retire from the bench. At least, that's how I took it.
Q. Have you picked a successor to Justice Roberts yet, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. I have not. I haven't thought about a successor. I am ready for questions now, if you have any.
[6.] Q. Mr. President, can you tell us anything about the reported mission of Mayor La Guardia to France, before the Big Three
THE PRESIDENT. Well, Mayor La Guardia has been wanting to go to France for some time, and I gave him the
necessary permission the other day to go to France.
Q. Can you tell us--
THE PRESIDENT. He is going on his--for his own welfare and benefit. He is not going on a mission for the Government.
Q. He is not going in uniform, Mr. President?
THE PRESIDENT. No. [Laughter]
[7.] Q. Mr. President, there has been some talk on the Hill that the Bretton Woods legislation would be postponed until after the
Charter. Do you think this could be done?
THE PRESIDENT. I think you had best ask the leaders of the two Houses that question, because I don't think it's going
to be delayed that way. At least, that is not my information.
Q. Mr. President, is there any truth to the report that the Secretary of the Treasury will be appointed to the United Nations Bank
as--that is, the American section?
THE PRESIDENT. I am not ready to answer that question at this time.
[8.] Q. Mr. President, do you plan to hold a Big Two meeting with Prime Minister Churchill before going to the Berlin meeting ?
THE PRESIDENT. I do not. There is going to be a Big Three meeting, and all three will be there,--
Q. Mr. President,--
THE PRESIDENT.--if you want to call it that.
[9.] Q. Out in Independence, we asked you about Secretary Morgenthau and Ickes, and at that time you said you did not have it in
mind to accept their resignations.
THE PRESIDENT. That is true.
Q. I wondered whether--about Ickes now, Mr. President? [Laughter]
THE PRESIDENT. The same answer at Independence goes for Mr. Ickes, and went for Mr. Morgenthau until this morning when
he came in and told me that he simply wanted to quit and would be willing to stay until I got back from Europe. That was his own
suggestion and not mine.
Q. You do not have in mind, now, accepting Mr. Ickes' resignation?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I do not, for I am going to send Mr. Ickes to England to negotiate an oil treaty.
Q. When is that, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. They are getting ready for it now. I don't know just what the date will be.
Q. Is that in relation to the Anglo-American oil agreement?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes, that's the one.
THE PRESIDENT. Renegotiate, that's the word.
Q. They will be leaving relatively soon?
THE PRESIDENT. Well, I don't think the date has been definitely set, but it will be some time in the near future.
Q. That's the Middle East oil arrangement, sir?
THE PRESIDENT. Yes. That's what it is.
Q. Any other big Government changes? [Laughter]
THE PRESIDENT. I can't think of any, right at the present time, you would be interested to know. [More laughter]
Q. Mildly. Mildly interested.
Q. Mr. President, can you give us the date of the Big Three meeting?
THE PRESIDENT. Not definitely, no. It will be some time in the next 3 weeks, let us say that.
Q. Any appointments anticipated, Mr. President, to the State Department-Secretaries--have you any of those in mind yet--
THE PRESIDENT. No.
Q.--Under Secretaries, Assistants?
THE PRESIDENT. You heard what Mr. Byrnes said yesterday in his statement, that he had no intention of making any
changes immediately, and I think that will be a matter for discussion when we get back from overseas.
[10.] Q. Mr. President, have you received the report from Stabilization Director Davis on speculation--curbs on speculation?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I have not. I haven't received it yet.
[11.] Q. Mr. President, could you tell us if, when you come back from Germany, you would like to see the Eiffel Tower again?
THE PRESIDENT. Of course I would like to see it, but I don't think I will probably get a chance to see it. If that is what
you want? [Laughter]
Q. Do you expect to see General de Gaulle?
THE PRESIDENT. Not on this trip.
Q. Do you contemplate making another trip, then, to Europe soon?
THE PRESIDENT. I can't tell. I can't answer that.
Q. Is there anything, Mr. President, you can tell us about your route on return?
THE PRESIDENT. No, I can't at the present time, because it hasn't been definitely set. As soon as I have the
information, I will give it to you.
Reporter: Thank you, Mr. President.
THE PRESIDENT. You are entirely welcome.
NOTE: President Truman's sixteenth news conference was held in his office at the White House at 4:05 p.m. on Thursday, July 5,
1945. The White House Official Reporter noted that a few members of the press remained after the conference and that the
President showed them Field Marshal Goering's jewelled baton.
Provided courtesy of The American Presidency Project. John Woolley and Gerhard Peters. University of California, Santa Barbara.