JULY 19, 1945
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—Yesterday one of our very finest public servants retired from public life, temporarily at least. It is a little difficult for me to write objectively about Henry Morgenthau, Jr., because for many years he not only was associated with my husband in Albany and Washington, but has also been our friend and neighbor in our home county.
I have known many men in public life, none of more integrity. Originally his interests were largely centered on farming and country life, but he also had business experience, having made a success of a farm paper. When he came from Albany to Washington with my husband, it was to head first the Federal Farm Board and then the Farm Credit Administration, which was a good background for the work which came to him later as Secretary of the Treasury.
* * *
He was head of that department during a time when the decisions that needed to be made and the work that had to be done required statesmanship. The people who worked with him worked as hard as he did, and they were loyal not only to him but to the Administration. If they weren't, a parting of the ways came quickly, for loyalty is one of Mr. Morgenthau's outstanding attributes.
The Treasury Department has grown under his leadership. In that department the lend-lease agreements were put through. The financing, first of recovery in this country and then of the greatest war we have ever seen, was accomplished under Mr. Morgenthau's direction.
* * *
He can look back on his years of public service with great satisfaction, for he has served his country and his countrymen extremely well over a long period of time. Now it would be reasonable to wish him the opportunity for personal enjoyment, for relaxation, for the rest which all the men who have carried the burdens of the war need so sorely. I know, however, that as long as his own sons and the other young men of the nation are in the armed services, he is going to want to be of service to his country, either as a private citizen or in some public capacity.
I know of no one with a greater devotion to duty and to his country's interests above any personal consideration. I wish him well, and I hope that Mr. Morgenthau, who has contributed so much in the past, will continue to be as active and as useful in whatever he does in the future.
And I know that he will be wishing, as I do, the best of luck to his successor in the Treasury, Mr. Fred Vinson.