DECEMBER 18, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—To a great many people the President's speech on Friday night was the first clean-cut statement that made them realize just what conditions the United States is facing today. I was glad the President said that this was not just a crisis for the United States, but one involving the freedom-loving peoples of the world. I was glad he also made it clear that we would have to furnish the weapons of war to many of the other freedom-loving people who, because they have not yet recovered from the last war, are unable to produce the modern equipment that will be needed.
There is one thing, however, that the other nations of the world must realize. They must prove to the people both of the United States and of Russia that they are making equal sacrifices and working equally hard. If our people are to work more hours of the day, to give up the right to strike which is one of our freedoms, and to go without many things which they have come to look on as necessities, then they must feel a fellowship with the other people of the free world which makes it a joint enterprise and not one during which any nation pursues its ordinary way of life. This will be hard for many nations who ordinarily live less strenuously than we do. But it is essential, since otherwise we will begin to hear murmurs here that our people are asked to give up freedoms while others continue to live on the same basis as before this emergency. Likewise, if we are to preserve peace by our efforts, the USSR government must understand that all free nations are joined with us in opposition to USSR aggression.
It was a heartening thing to know that immediately after the President's speech the striking railroad men started back to work. That is the kind of cooperation that will make the President's task lighter; and I think everyone of us should thank these men, for they are faithful workers. For them, as for everybody else, the dollar no longer buys what it used to buy, and we can only hope that the negotiations will satisfactorily handle their real difficulties.
I was saddened by the move of the Republican members of Congress in their demands made on the President to replace Secretary of State Dean Acheson. They will take from the government service, if the President is obliged to accede to their request, a man of experience, a man who understands the workings of the most complicated department in the whole government service. No matter who the President may put in, he will not have the same experience.
It is nonsense to say that the country does not trust the Secretary of State. The country knows better than these Republican members of Congress. And yet the Republicans, for partisan advantage, seek to deprive the country of the services of a man who at least had time to learn something about his job and who, if he has made mistakes, is quite intelligent enough to learn from them. I have great admiration and respect for the ability of many Republican leaders, but they have not carried the responsibility that our present Secretary of State has carried through these past hard years. At this moment I think our Republican members of Congress are taking a grave responsibility on their shoulders, for whatever happens in the future will be their responsibility—and not that of the Democratic administration or of a new Secretary of State, be he Republican or Democrat.