OCTOBER 25, 1947
NEW YORK, Friday—I have had two letters from WAA employees in different parts of the country telling me, more in sorrow than in anger, that while the veteran who wrote to me complaining of the way the War Assets Administration was conducted might feel a personal grievance, yet by and large a remarkably good job has been done in the disposal of surplus goods.
One letter explains some of the difficulty: "Simply because there never has been and never could be enough of some items to begin to meet demands, a good many veterans have been unable to buy goods they eagerly desired. And with some 18,000,000 veterans eligible to buy, it is more than possible that some did not always get from an improvised, temporary organization the kind of service they were accustomed to getting from long-established merchandizing houses.
"But, conscious as it is of shortcomings, the War Assets Administration occasionally receives credit from a gratifying source. I respectfully invite your attention to the enclosed article, 'The Truth About Surplus', from the current issue of the Army Times, a publication ever vigilant in the veterans' interest."
The Army Times article is fair and favorable, and it gives a great deal of valuable information to the veterans. In a big government undertaking of this kind there are bound to be many disappointments. If one thing is tried and proves unsatisfactory, then another thing has to be tried. Or in one place an office is better run than in another. Nevertheless, as my other correspondent wrote: "It is my sincere belief that the War Assets Administration's performance historically will stand any test."
I was glad to have these two letters because they show that the men working in this organization believe in their jobs; and where men believe that they are doing a good job, it's bound to be fairly successful.
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I received a very attractive notice the other day announcing the Young Democrats Convention, Nov. 13-15, in Cleveland, Ohio. From my point of view, this is quite as important a convention as any held by older citizens.
This convention should have among those attending it representatives of the young people who fought the war. It is my conviction that these are the young people who should be active in winning the peace. They know what war is really like, whereas only a few of their elders know. They probably know also what it is worth to them to win peace in the world, and they may be willing to take a little more trouble about their citizenship than have the generations immediately preceding them.
I have an idea that many of the battles which we fight in the United Nations will never really be settled until we learn to fight them in our own communities. There is where the principals are established on which we act both nationally and internationally. I hope the Young Democrats Convention will stress this idea.