OCTOBER 11, 1947
NEW YORK, Friday—From the State of Iowa there comes an encouraging communication in the form of "The Iowa Poll." While the poll does not indicate that the people of the state are not interested in the United Nations and does acknowledge that hopes are not as high as they were at the start, it reveals that Iowans still have faith in the U.N. objectives and practically no desire for isolationism. This is encouraging news and I hope it is true of many other Midwestern states.
The confidence which the poll shows Iowans have in Secretary Marshall's work since he has been in office should be gratifying to the Secretary and give him a boost in the undoubtedly hard and, at times, disheartening job that falls to the lot of any of our Secretaries of State.
Another thing has come to my attention which should contribute to the interest of our people in working for mutual goodwill. The Foreign Press Association has announced an annual award to be given to the person that, in the opinion of the members of the association, has done the most during the year for international goodwill. The name of the first recipient soon will be made public and the presentation will take place at a dinner on November 11, which will mark the association's 30th anniversary.
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I am getting a number of complaints from veterans on the way the War Assets Administration is carrying on sales of surplus equipment to former members of the armed services. The most recent one comes from a Midwestern city, and the man, who is in the Officers Reserve Corps, tells me that nearly two years ago he obtained a priority for the purchase of a war surplus motor vehicle and a month later a priority for a typewriter, and as yet he has been unable to purchase either of these items.
He then goes on to tell of driving into a near-by town 10 miles away and making arrangements to purchase a filing cabinet and typewriter table, costing $9.61. He could not obtain them at once because the paper work was too complicated, so he had to drive the distance a second time and was unsuccessful again because the paper work was still in process! He feels that veterans are not getting a square deal and says he is not alone in feeling so.
I realize only too well that big government departments are cumbersome and that with the best intentions mistakes will be made. But there are too many complaints of one kind and another coming in for the average citizen not to wonder whether things might not be improved. My correspondent says he saw 25 typewriters in good condition but that he was told they were not up for sale. Yet he is still waiting for the one on which he obtained a priority one year and nine months ago.
Things are not made easy these days for anyone who is trying to succeed in a small way. If you have everything, it isn't important whether you can buy surplus goods. But to the veteran it is important, and perhaps a little inspection without warning might be valuable.