Roosevelt Papers

Record of Presidential Press Conference No. 898

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Q. Mr. President, you have had a number of recent conferences with Dr. (T. V.) Soong. Is there anything you can tell us about that?

The President: I don’t think so. There isn’t any particular news, one way or another.

Q. I wondered if there was anything special you had up between you?

The President: No. I suppose the—the principal thing relates to getting war materials of all kinds into China.

Q. Did you say more material?

The President: War materials—and medical things—things of that kind. That is going along pretty well.

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Q. Mr. President, is there anything you can tell us about the visit of Prime Minister Mackenzie King (of Canada) here?

The President: I don’t think so. He is just—just down here on the same—same thing that everybody else is here—furtherance of the war. I am seeing him again this morning.2

Q. Mr. President, back to Dr. Soong, we have noticed that he has been in here, particularly since Prime Minister Churchill arrived. Could you say if your talks with the Prime Minister concerned something about China?

[Page 150]

The President: Oh, sure. We talked about China. It isn’t the only place we have been talking about.

Q. Mr. President, when you referred to the majority of our forces, you were speaking then of a majority of these forces which are outside the continental United States?

The President: Yes, yes.

Mr. Godwin: (aside) How about it?

Q. Mr. President, any sort of progress report you can give us on your talks with the Prime Minister (Churchill)?

The President: Well, I suppose the best way to put it is this: that, so far, most of the work has been done by the Combined Staffs. And they have been at it, and we expect to get some preliminary recommendations from the Combined Staffs—you might call them tentative recommendations—probably in tonight’s meeting. Then those will be gone over—and I might say the Combined Staffs have been getting along extremely well—and then over the weekend we will be going over them, and take up the preliminary recommendations next week and iron out any kinks that are in them and make them final.

Q. Mr. President, has any consideration been given to the political future of Italy?

Mr. Godwin: (aside) What?

The President: Unconditional surrender. I think that—

Q. (interposing) Thank you, Mr. President.

The President: (continuing)—speaks for itself.

Q. Thank you.

Q. Thank you, Mr. President.

Mr. Godwin: Italy?

The President: What?

Mr. Godwin: Italy?

The President: Italy.

Mr. Godwin: He asked about Italy?

The President: Unconditional surrender.

  1. Only those portions of the press conference record dealing with the Trident Conference and related matters have been printed. The parenthetical insertions appear in the source text and were presumably supplied by the White House Press Office.
  2. No official record of the substance of Roosevelt’s meeting with Mackenzie King has been found; see the editorial note post, p. 151.