AUGUST 10, 1949
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—I have a letter telling me that what I thought was a project sponsored by the Pilot Club of Columbus, Ohio, is done as well in Buffalo, N.Y., by the Northern Masonic jurisdiction of the Ancient Accepted Scottish Rite group.
They say they have placed ceiling projectors in 39 hospitals in western New York, including those hospitals operated by the Roman Catholic Church. In addition to the hospital service, they have placed their pool of microfilm books and fifty additional machines in the Erie County Library.
They also have established a home delivery service for shut-ins which is available to all regardless of race, color or creed.
With pardonable pride, the chairman of the project says: "We of the Buffalo Consistory are quite proud of this project."
I should think they would be. I am delighted to hear that such good work is actually going on in a number of places.
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I have been getting a number of letters lately from civil service employees in Washington and from federal groups elsewhere who feel they are being discriminated against. They say that "veterans' preference" means that veterans of the last war get first consideration, that sometimes older employees, even veterans of the first world war, are dismissed to make way for new people who are veterans and who have more points, I suppose, under recent acts.
I have always felt that a small amount of preference to a veteran in civil service did no harm. But to oust people from jobs which they have held for several years, or to supersede a veteran of world war one, does not seem quite fair. I wonder if Congress, in passing this legislation, was cognizant of the hardships it would bring to a great many people.
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I keep seeing in the papers that we are about to receive a considerable number of displaced persons, that we must find homes and employment for them in this country. But judging from the reports, it is always an expectation and never an accomplished fact. The other day I saw that 1700 displaced persons who were on their way to Australia were to receive citizenship and housing and the choice of three different kinds of jobs. If Australia, with its small population, which has not yet solved the problem of getting water into the interior where a large part of its land is still a desert, can accept this number we should be able to absorb a great many more.
Those who have come here already, in small numbers, have settled down and are working out very well. I cannot understand the fears of people like Senator McCarran.
The delay only makes the chance of getting good people, who may be first class settlers, more difficult. It allows other countries to take their pick while we wrangle over the details of how they are to be admitted to this country and find their place among us once they are here.
From my point of view it is a wasteful process. It is wasteful for the people themselves who will find it harder to get to work and become self-supporting. It is wasteful for us, who need people who have not had their energy sapped by disappointment and endless waiting.