FEBRUARY 10, 1951
NEW YORK, Friday—This afternoon I am flying to Boston to speak at Boston University tonight. Also, I shall see two of my grandsons who have very kindly been invited by my hosts, Mr. and Mrs. John Sargent, to lunch tomorrow before I take an afternoon plane back to New York City. My older grandson is in his last year at St. Marks School and Franklin Jr.'s older boy, who is at Fessenden School, hopes to go to St. Marks next year, so they should have many things to talk about.
I have been reading about the dispute between the Department of Justice and the Office of Price Stabilization as to which should have jurisdiction on preventing black market profiteering. The public in general, I am sure, has very little interest in what department actually does the work so long as the work is done quickly and efficiently.
Some of us remember how many people actually thought it was smart to buy in the black market during the last war. And we remember that some people who could pay high prices for food, which they obtained illegally, thought it showed their superior financial and social position! Being beyond the law by one means or another seems to give some people a sense of power. I never understand it, but I am sure that if we can make it unpatriotic and unfashionable to buy in the black market by having a few people actually punished for doing so it will be a very salutary thing.
The reason for my feeling is that I have found people generally more willing to accept restrictions and hardships if they feel these are borne by all alike. That has been one of the secrets of the willingness of the British people to accept extreme austerity for such a long time. They were aware that even in Buckingham Palace the same bread was served to the Royal family that was served in the poorest house in the United Kingdom. High and low bowed to the same rationing and submitted to the government's decision as to how many coupons they should have for practically everything.
On my television program the other day Senator George W. Malone of Nevada, with whom I heartily agreed that colonialism is going to disappear more or less quickly from the world scene, made me gasp with surprise when he stated that England, being a socialist country, was not a democracy.
It seems to me that anyone who has visited that country since the war cannot help being impressed by the fact that it is a democratic country. We may have differences in our economic systems, it is true. But the basic conception of a democratic way of life and of government which makes the individual human being all important and government exist for the benefit of the human being, rather than the human being for the state or government, is as cherished in Great Britain as in our own country.