JUNE 6, 1947
LOS ANGELES, Thursday—I came out here to speak at the State Democratic Committee dinner because my son James is chairman of the committee.
After my arrival yesterday morning, my day started with a press conference. From the questions which were asked, I gathered that Henry Wallace has created considerable confusion in the minds of his large audiences here. The people were hoping to get some concrete answers to questions which trouble us all.
"How are we to get unity in this country and feel that we really are working together on a policy which will bring peace to the world?" That, I think, is one of the first questions in the minds of a great many men and women. In consequence, the next question is: "Does our present Administration policy go in this direction?" "If not, what could we do to change it? Is our Congress, as now constituted, willing to accept a policy which will lead in the direction of peace?"
Fear of Russia has grown and no one knows exactly why. Nor do they know whether what is called a "tough" policy is the right policy to dispel antagonisms, or whether what is described as an appeasement policy or a conciliatory policy will bring better understanding.
As far as I can gather, Mr. Wallace in his speech here stated the desires of most people admirably, but gave them few concrete solutions. So they came away liking him as an individual and feeling his honesty, yet not being able to state what definite things we as a people could do to improve our present world situation.
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It always comes as something of a shock to me, being an old-fashioned person, to find how quickly one can transfer oneself from LaGuardia Field in New York to Mines Field in Los Angeles! I left New York on Tuesday afternoon at 4:45 p.m., daylight-saving time, and was in Los Angeles at 2 a.m., Pacific time, in spite of having spent two hours at Kansas City waiting for some thunderstorms to clear up.
I was interested in the reaction of the plane's passengers when we were told at Kansas City that there would be a delay. We were in the plane, supposedly ready to take off, when the announcement was made. No one complained. A few got out and went back to the ticket counter—I suppose to find out how long we might be held. But a great many people just sat calmly in their places and read or dozed through the entire period.
One very busy gentleman stopped to speak to me and, instead of complaining at the waste of his time, he said, "I never mind waiting if it means greater safety on the trip." This is a very good attitude. And I think that if the airlines feel that the public has that reaction, they will put safety above everything else—which, in the long run, is better for all concerned.