Harry S. Truman Presidential Library & Museum

Barkley, Alben William, 1877-1956; Minton, Sherman, 1890-1965; Biffle, Leslie L., 1889-1966; Hatch, Carl Atwood, 1889-1963; Schwellenbach, Lewis B. (Lewis Baxter), 1894-1948; Vyshinsky, Andrey Yanuaryevich, 1883-1954
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Longhand Note of President Harry S. Truman, ca. December 1947. President's Secretary's Files - Longhand Notes.

Dec. 1947


Digest of news and know how to run the world


Convince the people

Sec. for Politics Sec. for Probabilities Sec. for Prohibition Sec. for Inflation Sec. for Columnists Sec. for Reaction Sec. for Semantics Yes or No

Sec. for Politics (Barkley) Secretary for Probabilities Minton Secretary for Gossip Columns. Biffle Secretary for Prohibition, Hatch Secretary for Hard Drinkers, Schwellenbach Secretary for Pussyfooters, Burke

1. Read Tribune inquiry W.G.N. 2. Read health certificate.

You see my physical condition is excellent now look at that blood pressure. But blood pressures vary I've an idea that there were pressures of 290 over 180 when my car came within fourteen feet of backing into a gravel pile down in Brazil.

You know I walk and swim and worry very little. I appoint people to responsible positions to worry for me. You've no idea how satisfactory that policy is.

I have just made some additions to my kitchen cabinet which I'll pass on to my successor in case the Cow should fall when she goes over the moon.

I appointed a Secretary for Inflation. I have given him the worry of convincing the people that no matter how far the prices go nor how low wages become there just is not any danger to things temporal or ethereal. I'm of the opinion he'll take a real load off my mind-if Congress doesn't.

Then I've appointed a Secretary of Reaction. I want him to abolish flying machines and tell me how to restore oxcarts, oar boats and sailing ships. What a load he can take off my mind if he'll put the atom back together so it can't be broken up. What a worry that will abolish for both me & Vishinski.

I have appointed a Secretary for Columnists. His duties are to listen to all radio commentators, read all columnists in the newspapers from ivory tower to lowest gossip, coordinate them and give me the results so I can run the United States and the World as it should be. I have several able men in reserve besides the present holder of the job, because I think in a week or two the present Secretary for Columnists will need the services of a psychiatrist and will in all probability end up in St. Elizabeth's!

I've appointed a Secretary for Semantics-a most important post. He is to furnish me 40 and 50 dollar words. Tell me how to say yes and no in the same sentence without a contradiction. He's to tell me the combination of words that will put me against inflation in San Francisco and for it in New York. He's to show me how to keep silent-and say everything. You can very well see how he can save me an immense amount of worry.

It's a great addition to the Kitchen Cabinet and I'm sure would be of great use to my successor if the Tribune should by unforeseen chance get its wish.

But you know at this holiday season of peace on earth and good will toward men I am going to wish you all happiness by hoping that my health chart remains above normal and that no one will have a worry about becoming President and that he gets everything he hopes for for Christmas.

It's been a grand show as always and I wish for all of you and all the world peace on earth good will toward men.

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