APRIL 23, 1947
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I was amused to discover the other night that one radio commentator who knows everything in the world before it happens does not seem aware of the fact that, though Presidents of the United States cannot receive gifts from foreign governments, their wives, not being officials or members of the armed services, are frequently sent gifts and may receive them.
This particular radio commentator and columnist knows the value of a gift which was given to me, and I do not even know it myself! He knows what I am going to do with it, when I do not know that, either! I wonder if it escaped his knowledge that, at the time I received from the wife of the giver a very beautiful silver tea service which is at present the property of the U.S.S. Franklin D. Roosevelt, and which was seen and admired by a great many Brazilians when that ship paid a visit to Rio not long ago.
It must be wonderful to be the soothsayer of the air. I often wish I could project the future in my column. It would be much more thrilling than talking about the past. But in this particular instance, I am afraid my commentator friend has projected a little too far, because I have no idea what I shall do with my possessions in the next few years. Life has never been very static for me and I seem to have heard a few jokes in the past about the way I move about. I still move about—in more circumscribed circles, perhaps—and I am not quite sure where I shall be moving in the course of the next few years.
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If I am to believe one of my business acquaintances, we will all soon be living in grass huts and hoping to develop green thumbs, because without them we will not be eating in the course of the next few years! On reading some of the headlines on President Truman's speech to the newspaper executives in New York, I gather that he warned them that unless they did something about it very soon, the grass huts would really be quite visible.
He spoke of a cloud in the economic skies and said that the cloud "Is caused by the sharp and rapid rise in prices." And he left it to the business people to decide whether they were going to do anything about it or were going to be content to build little grass huts, to scratch in the earth for a living, to let the rest of the world do the same and, after the collapse, to start again from scratch, hoping to get on top again someday. Incidentally, each one of us would be looking with suspicion on our neighbor, with the idea that he might have a little buried treasure hidden away with which he hoped to get the better of us in the upward climb.
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I have just received some delightful records about Fala. And I think that, as they deal only with the little dog and his relation to his master, people may enjoy them without feeling that there is any social or political significance attached to them!