JULY 22, 1949
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I was really grieved to read last night of the death of Justice Frank Murphy. He was a friend of my brother, who knew him in the old days in Michigan. His loss will be a hard blow to the bench, but I am sure President Truman will try to find a lawyer of equally fine background and of similar high character.
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There was an interesting column in one of our papers the other day describing the success of certain special interests in getting a Senate appropriations committee to cut out funds for government transmission lines in relation to certain power-development projects. This committee went so far as to name the private-power companies that should be invited to build these lines. Among the Democrats who fought against this strange idea were Senator O'Mahoney of Wyoming and Senator Hayden of Arizona. It certainly was not one of the President's campaign promises, since he repeatedly stated that the government should build transmission lines in order to act as a lever on the private companies, to bring down the cost of power to individuals in various communities.
Sad to say, it was a Democrat, Senator Thomas of Oklahoma, who according to the column I read, was responsible for this move. I can only be glad that there were some Democrats, such as Senators O'Mahoney and Hayden who fought against it.
The names of the Democrats voting with Senator Thomas are not very surprising. One of them, Senator McKellar of Tennessee, always has been opposed to the Tennessee Valley Authority and for the interests of the Southern power companies.
I wonder when these reactionaries are ever going to discover that it was the people who elected President Truman and they elected him on a program. Many Democrats were elected also because of President Truman's victory and I think the last election was a sign that the people of this country have come of age, politically speaking. They are not going to be discouraged if some reactionary combinations defeat the things they hoped to achieve by their votes. All it is going to do is to make the people more determined that they will organize better until they achieve such representation as will give them the programs they desire.
The people want a liberal government, and these gentlemen who sit in Washington and behave as though there had been no election of President Truman had better remember that labor is beginning to organize already. There will be other groups organizing, and once people are aroused they become wiser and wiser politically. The ballot can be used to achieve the results that people want and that is what I believe the people of this country have decided to do.