NOVEMBER 3, 1943
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—This is Election Day. One year ago I was in Great Britain and tried very hard to get an absentee voter's ballot. However, with one delay and another it reached me on just about the date I should have been home, and so Miss Thompson and I both failed in our civic duty last year.
This year we are right on hand and I must say that we are much more comfortable from the material point of view than we were a year ago. It rained almost incessantly in Great Britain. The houses were cold, for the allowance of heating fuel had been cut down for every household. Whether you were inside or outside, it seemed as though the chill went right through to the marrow of your bones.
The wartime diet over there is not half so liberal as ours, and the blackout, which made the streets and the countryside completely without a twinkle of light, added to the general gloom. Our boys in camps there felt it keenly. Never having known the English summer climate, which can be very beautiful, they were not favorably impressed with Great Britain's climate.
I often wondered how the men and women who had to go to work in the dark and then come home in the dark, could stand up under it. Now they are starting in on another winter. While one hears that they have some of the same difficulties that we have with absenteeism and a general letdown in morale, still their production does keep up, just as ours does. By and large, the country as a whole, like our own, must be doing a good job.
It makes one proud to find so much character and courage in a period such as this. Even in our blackest moment, we have to acknowledge that there is something very fine in human beings.
Several people have asked me to explain why I am opposed to the sales tax. The reason is that I believe an income tax will bring in more revenue and will be, on the whole, a more clear-cut and far-reaching way of making us all realize the need for a contribution. It will not affect the lowest income group, which can barely meet the daily necessities of living.
A sales tax, unless placed on all the necessities of life, does not bring in enough revenue to meet our present needs. It is a sugarcoated tax and you do not always realize why a given thing you buy is costing more.