DECEMBER 6, 1945
NEW YORK, Wednesday—of course, the most interesting news yesterday was President Truman's request to Congress for the appointment of a fact-finding group to look into the difficulties as they arise between management and labor. He added the request that no strike be permitted for a period of thirty days while this group is at work. Most of the papers seem to hail some such legislation as being the solution for future labor troubles, but I am not quite sure, since it is not really very different from the type of thing which the War Labor Board has been trying to do.
If that couldn't be made to work successfully, I can't quite see why we should have higher hopes for this kind of machinery. I am also not quite sure that I think we need more methods of operation and certainly such legislation should not be attached to any other Bill but should stand on its own merits. It seems to me that what we need is a real desire on the part of management and labor to find solutions!
* * *
Yesterday morning at eight-fifteen a very nice young Army officer from Fort Devens picked me up on his way back to camp and together we made the trip by air to Boston. There we were met by another young officer and a WAC, one of the best drivers I have ever seen. With a police escort we made good time over decidedly snowy roads to and from Fort Devens.
After a rather hurried lunch with General and Mrs. Crane and Colonel and Mrs. Goethals, I went directly into the Red Cross recreation hall which was filled with men. These were the patients well enough to walk about. I have learned, however, that for men who have been ill it is much better not to talk too long, and so in about fifteen minutes we started on a discussion period which proved really most instructive to me. It showed that these men are deeply concerned with what is happening in various parts of the world.
One asked me why we should be having men killed in China. He wanted to know whether it was not interfering with China's internal affairs when we transported the Generalissimo's troops.
Another man asked me about our policy in the treatment of the people of Germany and Japan. It was evident throughout that their interest in what was happening in the different theatres of war was keen and thoughtful.
I went through one of the wards afterwards and found that the great majority of the men were back from the European theatre of war. There were very few from the Pacific. Fortunately many of them are now in this hospital, near their homes. Only one man told me he was anxiously waiting the day when he could be sent out to Denver which was his home. Another came from Albany, N. Y., but the rest appeared to be from Massachusetts and Connecticut.
They seemed to have very few amputee cases, at least, I saw none, but the hospital is so large that I only saw one small section. The talk and discussion period, however, were carried into every ward by a loud speaker and I hope that I was able to leave with these men, many of whom have spent months in hospitals, some food for thought and further discussion.