MARCH 29, 1951
NEW YORK, Wednesday—In one of the New York City evening papers last evening I read a column beginning: "The Army says we are fooling ourselves if we think Americans are naturally good soldiers." Then the columnist explains that this is the introduction to a new Army training pamphlet that explains how and why men should be trained in a much tougher manner than before the Korean War. The article ended with the following paragraph, which I think every young man and every mother should read and remember:
"In all our wars, Americans have died unnecessarily. They died because they did not take their training seriously. That's why we speak of blood and sweat. The more you sweat in training the less chance there is of your blood being spilled in battle."
Secretary of Defense General Marshall evidently feels it is necessary for us to get as rapidly and as completely prepared as we possibly can. The fact that General MacArthur has made a bid for a parley on conditions for peace in Korea means very little, I am afraid, though it is quite understandable that a great many people have begun to think that peace is already here because the word crossed General MacArthur's lips.
Perhaps General Marshall's seriousness about pending legislation and the world situation in general may counteract what complacency already exists. My hope is it will stop many people from wishfully thinking that talking about peace actually brings it about.
Here at home there is one question that is almost as serious as the difficulties that arise in making peace in the world. It certainly is a great factor in all of our military preparations, whether for war or for peace. It will certainly make a difference in our ability to weather the economic situations of the next few years. This all important domestic question is: How do we stop inflation?
I am sure it is being brought to the President's attention by the statistics that come out of the Washington bureaus so regularly and each time report a rise in the cost of living. This cannot go on forever.
There was a day long ago when any one of the things suggested might have been a good beginning to stop the upward trend. But we have long since passed that day and reached the horrible time when it will take all the things that can be done to control the rising threat that may completely destroy our economy.
Every day that goes by with nothing done is that much time lost. It means fewer supplies to be obtained for the sums of money appropriated in our preparation for defense and it means less ability on our part to help other parts of the world that are badly in need of help.
Governments are always afraid that their people will not be able to stand the necessary sacrifices. Yet, in this particular case, if the sacrifices are not very soon demanded the people who will reap the results of uncontrolled inflation will not be very happy about their government as a whole.
So the sooner our Congressional leaders and our Administration officials make up their minds to take the bull by the horns on this particular problem and do what needs to be done and do it as quickly and as completely as possible, the better. We might think back to the rise in inflation in Chiang Kai-shek's China. It wasn't pleasant for anyone, especially the people.