AUGUST 21, 1947
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—I was very much relieved to see that President Truman's Air Coordinating Committee came out against a single airline for all Americans flying abroad. I have heard people who are interested in Pan American Airways, argue that the competition from Dutch and British and French airlines is going to be so great that it is ridiculous to have competition between various American companies for overseas routes. I myself cannot see why this should be so, and I am glad that the President's committee favors continuing competition.
I have also read with interest what has been said lately on the development of air freight. I have a feeling that there is a future in this type of air service which should not be ignored. We in this country have thought very largely in terms of passenger service, but just as freight and express are the most important part of railway service, I think they may become the most important part of air transportation.
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The whole country, I am sure, was shocked at the loss of Ambassador George Atcheson, Jr., in a plane crash near Honolulu. The explanation of head winds and a faulty engine which consumed too much gas is a sad one, I think. And I hope it will lead to greater research. One should be able to discover faults in engines and one should be able to gauge winds, and have some method of either carrying reserve fuel or refueling when gas gets low.
Death in itself is very unimportant, but when it is unnecessary and takes someone who has been useful to the nation, one cannot help but resent it. And one feels that it should not be accepted placidly as an act of God, when really it is due to our own human shortcomings!
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For the first time in over a month, I paid a visit to New York City yesterday, and I must say the country looked very good to me when I got back to it last evening. My trip to the city was primarily so that I could meet my son John's wife and children at my apartment before they took a train to Los Angeles. The heat made my little 5-year-old and 7-year-old grandchildren, Nina and Haven, rather listless until they suddenly saw children in bathing suits in the big fountain in Washington Square Park. Then both of them wanted to join the crowd and get cooled off!
The drive to New York and back was very beautiful, though we struck a thunderstorm in the late afternoon which practically blinded us part of the way. However, the rain we have had this summer has kept everything marvelously green, and it seems to me that bushes, flowers and trees have never grown more luxuriantly.