JUNE 18, 1947
NEW YORK, Tuesday—It took courage to veto the tax bill in view of all the things that were said by the Republicans beforehand and that are still being said with vehemence. One headline stated that Republicans denounced the veto as "dirty politics"—I suppose because the President might approve of tax reduction next year. Such a measure should be differently drawn, of course, so as to give a little more advantage to the mass of taxpayers in the lower-income brackets and a little less to the corporations! When more time has gone by and we do not need our revenues for absolutely necessary expenditures, as we do now, the Treasury might approve such a measure.
One newspaper calmly took the view that all the taxpayers of the country have been injured by this veto, whereas the great mass of taxpayers would have noticed very little difference in their taxes under this bill. Now, when corporations are making good returns on their capital investment, is the time when it hurts them the least to pay taxes.
I am frank to say that I should have liked a 20 percent reduction, but nevertheless I am glad the President vetoed the bill and glad the House has upheld his veto, for other considerations are more important than that a comparatively small number of people be pleased. My congratulations go to the President, and may his courage never grow less!
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To turn to my United Nations activities, the small working committee that was entrusted over the weekend with trying to put on paper both a declaration and a convention which might serve as a first draft for the International Bill of Rights, made slow progress. Prof. Rene Cassin of France was asked to draw up the declaration, while the rest of the working committee checked off the points they thought might be included in an actual draft convention.
The latter group accomplished their work very quickly because it required no actual wording, but when they came together yesterday morning to go over the declaration point by point, they found the wording could produce untold pitfalls. They telephoned the other members of the drafting committee that they would not be ready until this morning, and so yesterday we only went over a part of Prof. Cassin's draft.
What will happen when eight of us begin to find fault with the wording, I dread to contemplate. And if we on the drafting committee do succeed in agreeing, what will happen when the full Human Rights Commission of eighteen goes to work?
We have already decided that we will not be able to finish our work this week, and Prof. Cassin has agreed to stay over until next Monday night. Then he must return to France, so we must try to have our work completed. He and I did a short transcription in French during the lunch hour, so on the whole the day, as usual, was a busy one!