NOVEMBER 22, 1947
NEW YORK, Friday—In less than a week now Thanksgiving Day will be with us and members of our family and friends will we hope be with us on that day. A committee called the American Silent Guest Committee has been formed to encourage the buying of CARE packages and they are asking that each one of us who can afford to do so entertain a "silent guest" at our table on Thanksgiving Day. I am not sure that it might not be a good idea to set that extra place so that it would remind us of our great good fortune in being able not only to eat ourselves, but to share what we have with others. This movement is sponsored by the Governor of Massachusetts, Robert F. Bradford, which seems particularly fitting since he is the direct descendent of the first governor of Massachusetts who originated Thanksgiving. He will open the drive at Plymouth where our Pilgrim fathers landed and probably will remind us all of the kindness of the Indians when the supplies from England were so long delayed. The slogan for this drive is, "Thanks With Giving." The churches all over the country will cooperate, and Mr. Basil Harris, who is Chairman of the general committee, has promised priorities on all his ships for food being sent to Europe. Many of us cannot afford the cost of a whole CARE package but in this way we can join with others by sending our contribution no matter how small to the American Silent Guest Committee, One Broadway, New York City.
So many of us have forgotten the custom of our forefathers of saying grace before meals and I wonder if the time has not come when it might be well to revive this habit? We may well need spiritual strength to help us impose upon ourselves the sacrifices and disciplines necessary in order to make possible a return to some kind of normal living throughout the world and the reminder at every meal that we have something to be thankful for might help to strengthen our wavering resolution.
The arrival of the Friendship Train was significant because it emphasized the generosity of the American people. It was a dramatic idea and I think Mr. Drew Pearson and all those who participated in carrying it out deserve great credit for having done something to dramatize to people all over the country not only the need, but the willingness of our people to respond to that need.
It is unfortunate that world problems will not wait for our domestic political machinery! If this were not the year before the national election Mr. Taft and the Republicans might feel much less excited over measures suggested by the Administration to meet our situation at home which will help to make it possible for us to meet the situation abroad. The people of this country however are accustomed to these political battles and I think they have great understanding of the political motives underlying much of the speech making that goes on.
It is also sad that special interests in this country find it so difficult to divest themselves of their own specific line of thought and to think instead in world terms. The American Tariff League can hardly think today of treating industries over here as "infant" industries still requiring protection and yet they object to the carefully worked out concessions made in the Geneva Pact under which we also made great gains which should offset any concessions that our representatives agreed upon. When will our special interest groups take a world view?