JULY 24, 1951
HYDE PARK, Monday—The floods in the Middle West seem to continue day by day, and now it is St. Louis and the towns above and below that are suffering. Dikes are going down on every side, and the damage will run very high indeed. To drive this home to the citizens of that area, I saw that they were reminded of what carrying out flood-control plans would have cost them. Certainly, it must seem the most unwise economy that we have practiced, both in the immediate area by their own local public officials and on a broader scale by state and Federal officials.
It is always hard to make people see the need for undertaking long-range operations when the immediate need is not at hand. But now that this latest and worst flood has occurred I do hope that the people of the stricken area will not rest until they get before Congress the necessary legislation to start flood control and push it through.
I understand that a few of the Southern leaders—the more conservative ones—are planning a new organization that will bring the South more closely into the Republican conservative camp, and which may result in finally setting up in the South a two-party system.
This will be a blessing for the South and particularly for the Democrats, since many of those Democrats who now feel that their vote is useless will, at last, feel that it is worthwhile voting. It has always seemed to me that the South, functioning under a one-party system, really failed in one of the most important factors that keeps democracy alive. If you have only one party, the only choice open to you is in the primary. Where both parties are strong, you have to decide on the candidate of one or the other party and each party must have a platform.
It looks as though the control bill now going through the House would give inflation a considerable number of breaks but would also help the consumer a little. It seems to be impossible for most people to think of all the ways in which to control inflation and to accept them all, rather than suffer under the fear of something which may cause us even more difficult times than we are facing now if we let things take their course. Nevertheless, as the vote stood on Friday night, apparently the Administration has won a few victories, though it could not be happy over some of its defeats.
What a wonderful thing a change in the weather is. It makes a weekend look so much pleasanter, when instead of rain or very hot weather, we have nice cool breezes. All day long over the weekend our tennis court was busy. By eight-thirty in the morning it had already attracted the first of our neighbors and I don't think it was unused except during the lunch hour.
A really pleasant weekend does make people, I think, better able to go back and work and do their jobs through another five days.