JULY 31, 1940
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I motored down to New York City this morning and it was a very pleasant drive. The minute one arrives in the city, one is conscious of the fact that no city can be a really pleasant place in summer. The mere accumulation of sidewalks, streets and buildings and, above all, people in great numbers, makes it impossible to feel cool. I shall be glad when I am home again this evening.
Yesterday I read a most interesting pamphlet which contains an account of a school run by a Mr. Mongasen, who is an expert on saving time. However, he does it not only by the old device of eliminating motions and speeding up. He proposes asking everybody to think how they can cheapen the production of the products on which they are working, or shortening the processes, and he assures us that nobody will lose a job thereby.
There are two reprints of articles by William Hard in this little booklet, both of which are interesting. One elaborates the theory that the way to bring back prosperity is to make it possible to buy more with our incomes by cheapening the cost of products and employing more people because of the greater volume of production. In the second article, he links this economic theory with Mr. Mongasen's theory of all people in business using their intelligence and yet being assured that they will not lose their jobs.
If this could be done, it would, of course, answer much of the difficulty which we have experienced in the development of machinery, which has thrown people out of work instead of giving them the benefit of reducing drudgery and increasing the output and their leisure time. In his articles, Mr. Hard points out that we have reached a point where only cooperation will meet the present situation We must have business and government working together. There is no use in continuing the mutual recriminations which have been going on because, in the face of the present emergency, both business and government suffer. We need all the efficiency which this country can develop, plus an understanding of the situation which faces us both in Europe and the Far East, and which should tie the whole country into unified cooperation.
I am still hearing considerable comment about the compulsory military service bill. The general feeling seems to be that if we are going to have military service alone, it should be voluntary and not compulsory, and certainly the age for a year's service should be eighteen, before a boy gets a chance to start anything else in life.
Future service for short periods, in order to keep his efficiency, is looked upon as necessary. But, when we are not in a war, the general feeling that I encounter is that we should remain, where military service is concerned, on a voluntary basis.