September 20, 1945
This has been a very busy and trying week. After returning from Missouri via Paducah, Ky., where Sen. Alben Barkley and Cong. Gregory were taken aboard the Sacred Cow, much study was given pending problems. There were several thousand people at the airport in Paducah, all of whom wanted to see Jumbo, the Cardiff giant, the President of the United States. It is a most amazing spectacle, this worship of high office. Barkley told me on Friday, when we landed in the rain at his home town (Paducah), that I shouldn't be puffed up-the people always met him that way. But he was late at the airport on Sunday, a very beautiful sunny, cool day and there were more people than on Friday. He said that he could not understand it. Never said they always saw him off that way! He brought his dear old mother (87 yrs old) down to see me. She is a lovely old lady-just like gramma. She thinks Alben is about the zenith of everything just as mamma thinks of me-and she's right as can be.
Cong. Gregory's lovely wife and beautiful daughter were at the airport to see him off. They were invited to go aboard the Cow and see how Mr. Gregory would be placed on his way to Washington. He looks like "Mr. Smith" (Smith goes to Washington).
Katie Mize Accola, an Independence lady, whom we took back with us for an Independence week end visit, made a hit with Gregory by telling him how lovely his beautiful daughter is-and she is!
We arrived in the Capital City at 7:45 P.M., E.S.T., and Alben and I had our pictures taken, as is usual when notorious persons leave or arrive in cities.
Went to the taxpayers' house at 16th & Pennsylvania Ave. and spent a very pleasant night in sleep.
Got up Monday and spent the morning seeing various persons. Told my staff that the whole labor setup would be transferred to the Secretary of Labor and stated that a Justice of the Supreme Court, a Sec. of War, a Director of the Surplus Property Disposal Authority would be announced tomorrow (Tuesday) at 4 P.M.
Created some excitement in my immediate staff.
Every morning at 9 A.M., I have a conference with John Snyder, head of the Office of Reconversion, Sam Rosenman, Special Counsel, Matt Connelly, Appointments Secretary, Charlie Ross, Press Secretary, Mr. Ayers, his assistant, Bill Hassett, Secretary for correspondence; Harry H. Vaughan, Brig. Gen. and military aide., and J.K. Vardaman, Commodore and Naval Aide, Judge Latta, who looks after documents for me.
Well, when I told this bunch that I was transferring all Labor things to Schwellenbach, the Secretary of Labor, there was consternation-but I did it.
It is almost impossible to get action around here, even from the most loyal of the close-in helpers. It is just a natural reluctance to agree to any sort of change and a fear that something will be done to spoil the Era of Good Feeling which is now on.
Like every "new rich," and person who comes into power suddenly "Labor" has gone off the beam. The job now is to bring them back. And it is going to take guts to do it. Well this terrible job was virtually crammed down my throat at Chicago and I'm going to do [it] in the interest and welfare of all the people. No pressure group need apply. I believe in this Republic and I also believe in a strong two party system. France went out with multiple pressure groups as did Italy & Germany.
There should be a real liberal party in this country and I don't mean a crackpot professional liberal one. The opposition should join together then in real opposition. Taft, Peter Geary, Walter George, the Chamber of Commerce, the Cartel boys all should be in the opposition. If a new name could be found for these two parties a proper lineup
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