APRIL 9, 1958
NORFOLK, Va.—The reorganization scheme for the armed forces would, of course, give the Secretary of Defense a tremendous amount of power. Whether, without any checks, this power should be in the hands of one man is difficult to decide.
Of course, I suppose we can feel that Congress has the authority to check whoever holds such powers, yet in the case of Charles E. Wilson we saw the Secretary of Defense deliberately refusing to expend money in the way Congress expected it would be spent.
On the other hand, we know that divided responsibility does not seem to have brought about entirely satisfactory results.
There were, under the old systems, divisions of duties between the secretaries and assistant secretaries so that different parts of the work were the responsibilities of different people. This seemed to work pretty well in World War II.
I suppose the whole picture has become so much more complicated, however, that any of the old ways of handling responsibilities are now antiquated.
I do wish, though, that under this new plan we can put some kind of check on the powers of the Secretary of Defense, and perhaps Congress will have some ideas as to how this can be done and still make for more effective coordination.
Above everything else, duplication of effort should be avoided and use of all resources, particularly those for research, should be an objective.
It still seems to me, however, that it would be well to reorganize the whole plan for United States defense, since the Soviets' large standing Army, which can always be used in small wars, gives them an advantage when they know we do not wish to use atomic weapons and cannot come close to matching them in conventional arms and men.
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I went to Hyde Park from New York last Friday afternoon. It was a lovely day and Saturday was really like spring.
I ran around looking for snowdrops under my hedge and tried to find some crocuses that I had planted, but in the latter search I was entirely unsuccessful.
There were still patches of snow in the woods and I have not yet found any signs of things growing along the brooks and the sides of the road.
My Scottie, Duffy, has begun to be more hopeful that I intend to be at Hyde Park more often, greeting me more enthusiastically and not having to be begged to resume his old habits.
We had quite a group at Hyde Park over the Easter weekend, with 24 for lunch on Sunday. My son, Franklin Jr., and his wife drove over from their farm in the country and brought some friends from South Africa, Mr. and Mrs. Oppenheimer.
The Joseph Lashes were there with their boy and a friend of his, and my cousin, Mrs. W. Forbes Morgan, came with her two children and two friends, Ray West and Charles Pursell.
Altogether it was a happy and busy day, but Easter Day dawned in a torrent of rain. The church was crowded and all of us wore our Easter bonnets under a large umbrella. We all hoped that the rain would stop by the end of the church service, but nothing so pleasant occurred and it continued to pour the entire day.
At my son Johnny's house the children hunted eggs that his wife, Ann, had hidden with great ingenuity and some difficutly, since we ordinarily have the whole outdoors in which to hide them.
Sunday night, with everyone gone home, Miss Maureen Corr, my secretary, and I caught up on a little work before I left for Albany and now for two more days of travel for the American Association for the United Nations.