JUNE 12, 1948
NEW YORK, Friday—I must say that when I began to read some of the amendments to the draft bill in the Senate, I could not help being amused.
The southern states are looking to their rights, but for once I find myself in fair sympathy with Senator O'Daniel, who wanted to draft all excess contract war profits before we draft young men! I have always thought that in time of war it would be a very good thing if we drafted all men and all women and put them in the places where they could be most useful, and at the same time drafted all capital.
Why should we be more careful of risking our possessions in a war than risking our boys? Yet, war always has been allowed to enrich some people while it impoverished others and brought sorrow to countless families.
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As the draft bill passes here, the "cease fire" order goes out over Palestine. Now we will wait to see whether this period of respite from war in Palestine serves the really valuable purpose of achieving peace. Back of the peace conference that Count Bernadotte called there will have to be some very clear understandings in order to bring a willingness to compromise in the attitude of those who have been entirely unwilling to budge an inch so far.
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I am sorry to see that in the debate in the House on the bill to admit 200,000 Displaced Persons into the United States, Representative E. E. Cox (Democrat, Georgia) opposed the bill on the grounds that the inhabitants of DP camps are "the scum of all Europe—an aggregation of loafers. As a whole these camps are the hotbeds of revolutionists and if these people come here they will join those who are gnawing away at the foundation of our constitutional government."
He was joined by Representative Edward Gossett (Democrat, Texas).
All one can say about these gentlemen is that they never visited these DP Camps or they visited them with an amount of prejudice and ignorance that prevented them from seeing the most self-evident truths.
The people in the camps are certainly not revolutionists. They would naturally not be in favor of a regime that condemns any human being to spending an indeterminate number of years in camps scattered throughout Europe. Most of these people have skills and are anxious to work, and some of them have professions and were men of note in those professions before they were forced to leave their homes.
The record of similar people who have been allowed to come into our country has been remarkably good. They make successful American citizens and it is un-Christian and uncharitable to brand people as "bums and loafers" when they are the victims of circumstances beyond their control.