DECEMBER 7, 1936
ALBANY, N.Y., Sunday—I have been taking two peaceful days in the country so I have had time to look over some things which I have been keeping to read in my brief case these many weeks. Amongst them an interesting letter from a gentleman who had an interesting suggestion. He feels that in spite of the fact that we have a Department of Agriculture with a Bureau of Home Economics as well as research bureaus dealing with questions that affect agricultural life in many ways, the actual farm people are not represented in the national government in the same way that labor is represented. He claims that labor has become more articulate because it has had someone to whom it could go and tells its story.
People living on farms do not perhaps have the same urge to talk about their problems, but even if they had their opportunity, he feels is not as great for they have no designated individual to listen to them. The Secretary of Agriculture does this but apparently my correspondent feels that he has too many things to do and that there should be a special division with a head of its own called perhaps the Division on Rural Life, whose job it would be to think of the farmer and his wife and children as human beings and not as implements to agriculture.
This is an interesting suggestion and I think may start our agricultural organizations [unclear term marked] discussing whether this would be of value to them or not.
Another interesting thing that I have been reading is an address made by a United States Circuit Judge, William Denman, at a meeting held in San Francisco in commemoration of Justice Brandeis' eightieth birthday. After saying that he heard of him first in Boston as a young and brilliant lawyer, and later was told in a warning manner that this young and brilliant lawyer would probably throw away his career because the words "the public" were appearing too frequently in his briefs and arguments and even in his public addresses, he adds "Undoubtedly my Boston advisor was right when he stated that Brandeis had abandoned his ambitions, if he ever had any, for personal, economic power. But the price paid was no mess of pottage. What he would have regarded as a lesser part of the consideration was the fact that already he was recognized as Wilson's probable appointee forany vacancy on the Supreme Court Bench."
It has been my observation through many long years that frequently the man who thinks he is throwing away his career because he believes in something and acts on his belief, in the end makes his career. Perhaps the most valuable lesson to youth in Justice Brandeis' eightieth birthday is the way Justice Brandeis has lived his life.