DECEMBER 10, 1946
NEW YORK, Monday—With the end of the coal strike, a great sense of relief seemed to fill everybody's heart. Out at Lake Success, people from other countries have come up to me to say what it means to Europe, and our own people seem to look more cheerful. And I think of how happy the miners and their families must be.
One cannot help wondering, of course, what were the reasons which eventually prevailed with Mr. Lewis. But whatever they were, we can rejoice, even while we wonder whether one man should have the power to make so many people either happy or unhappy.
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Saturday night I went to a dinner which celebrated the 10th anniversary of a rather personal charity. The McCosker-Hershfield Cardiac Home grew out of a friendship formed by two men. As they became closer friends, they found they had a mutual interest in filling a need which many doctors and social workers were emphasizing—the need of a place to send convalescent cardiac patients who could not pay for it themselves and yet needed rest and care in order to return to a useful, self-supporting existence.
The two men gathered their friends around them, and every year these friends grew more numerous and the annual dinner grew larger. Now, at the ten-year mark, a home in Hillburn, New York, has been bought and remodelled, with plans on the way for increasing its size when materials are available, and with a list of patients which takes no account of race or religion, only of need.
At the dinner the other evening, I suddenly found myself shaking hands with Jim Farley, just back from his trip around the world. I was glad to learn that he had found interest in the United Nations in the countries he visited, and a feeling that it must succeed. That is good news, for if the conviction is deep enough, it will succeed.
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Early Sunday morning, I had breakfast with a group of servicemen at the Central Presbyterian Church, which allows servicemen to spend Saturday night in the gymnasium of the church. When these young men come into New York City and cannot find a place to sleep, the "Y" sends them to this church which, in addition to keeping its doors open on Saturday nights, usually gives the men coffee and rolls. Yesterday morning being the fourth anniversary of the inauguration of this custom, they had a real breakfast, so the boys were in luck.
One young man asked me about our stand on Franco and how it was possible to expect a nation under Franco to cooperate with the Allies or to increase the chances of peace in the world, since it was obvious that Franco was pro-Fascist and seemed to have had no change of heart. The soldier was all for recognizing the government-in-exile.
I don't wonder that these young soldiers find it hard to understand how we can tolerate and try to work with men who are quite obviously in opposition to the things for which we fought the war. I explained that one finds oneself in difficult positions now and then. The horns of this dilemma are our policy against outside interference in a domestic question and the possibility of making life even harder for the people of Spain!