JANUARY 6, 1949
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—It was certainly very interesting to read that the Administration won in the first round in Congress by a comfortable majority. The action taken to limit the power of the House Rules Committee will make it easier for the President's program to reach the floor for debate. Once on the floor, before the press and the galleries, any particular bill will be spotlighted and the stand taken by any member of Congress will be put on record.
I hope very much that the Senate may find a way to limit debate, so that endless filibustering on any question will be impossible, and questions that have been prevented from coming to a vote in the past may have a chance at least of free debate and then decision. Again, this will allow the public to know where others stand and to register their feeling on any subject that may come up.
It was interesting to find the New York Herald Tribune commenting on the fact that the Republican party, as represented in Congress, apparently proceeded to organize as though there had been no election last November.
It is true that on a number of subjects, such as housing and education and health, Senator Taft has taken a progressive stand. But, on the whole, people feel that he is on the conservative side, and there seem to be quite a number of Republicans who have progressive tendencies and will find themselves in accord with the Administration's policy on many issues.
It is going to be amusing to watch the vote and see how members line up on various subjects. Perhaps we shall see that the division within the Congress is more often a progressive-versus-a-reactionary attitude rather than a Republican-versus-a-Democratic attitude.
I was much interested in the survey published in the above-named newspaper covering "The Trend of Canadian Economy." It is pleasant to have the new Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. L.S. St. Laurent, say "the degree of Canada's prosperity is in large part dependent on conditions outside our borders."
"The maintenance of a higher level of trade between the United States and Canada," he went on, "is a major factor in keeping up the high standards of living for both our peoples."
This is much the same doctrine that his predecessor, the Rt. Hon. W.L. Mackenzie King would have enunciated, I feel sure. The long period of peace between our countries plus the new economic developments in Canada are going to make it more important than ever that there exist close economic ties between our countries. People from the United States made up the greatest number of tourists that Canada received during the past year, and tourists bring money into a country. But general trade can be developed between our countries to a far greater extent than it has been in the past—and to our mutual advantage.