MARCH 7, 1950
NEW YORK, Monday—It evidently dawned upon the coal operators that seizing of the coal mines was not a good habit to continue. Therefore, their decision to come to some kind of terms with John L. Lewis was better than having the government authorized to take over the coal mines again.
Mr. Lewis's picture in one of metropolitan newspapers yesterday amused me very much. His eyes were tightly closed and his dark felt hat was set low over his busy eyebrows. A stout and comfortable figure of a man, the expression on his face was one of self-satisfaction, as though he were saying: "Well, I pretty well got what I wanted and if everybody sustained considerable losses, nothing very important went wrong with me."
I am not sure that this isn't a dangerous thing to have happen. It makes one forget too easily what the other fellow actually went through.
Anyway, now the miners seem to have a contract that will last two years. The miners can work, the people thrown out of work because of the coal shortage can be called back to work. Trains can run again, brownouts can be stopped. The economic base of our country will be normal again unless some new obstruction occurs. If you are a pessimist, you will probably tell me it is bound to occur within a very short time. If you are an optimist, you will tell me we are gradually learning to make adjustments without these dislocations and perhaps we will have a longer period this time.
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Yesterday was a wonderful day in the country—cold, blue skies and enough snow on the ground to make the woods and the landscape still a winter landscape. I hated to leave my little dogs and the wonderful sense of satisfaction that envelopes one after a walk in the woods and the return to a nice open fire and good talk over a cup of tea. A television program demands one's appearance, however, and I came in to town on Sunday morning.
On the program yesterday Miss Lillian Kellems suggested that she was at a disadvantage because she had to argue against two gentlemen. But, as it turned out, I felt that on the whole she got more time than they did.
Nevertheless, I do not think that the real issues ever became quite clear. She says she has no objection to paying taxes and she has paid them all along. She just does not like the way of doing it in weekly installments collected by the employer instead of in quarterly payments. And apparently she does not subscribe to the idea that a law passed by Congress is a law we have to obey until the Supreme Court puts its stamp of approval on it.
Miss Gloria Swanson was charming, as always, and most entertaining as she tried to make it clear that in her person, small and slight as it is, there stood before us a whole corporation. Therefore, she said she should have the same advantages as a corporation, particularly as her corporation had a very limited period of time in which it could earn the maximum amount!
I think she got a fair amount of agreement out of the two gentlemen tax experts.