JUNE 4, 1952
NEW YORK, Tuesday—The steel decision, which was handed down on Monday is, of course, of vital importance to every American citizen. I was interested to see that Senator Lehman's reaction to it was that Congress, without a moment's delay, must give the President the power he needs. He said, "This is no time for politics; this is a time for action."
I hope the whole Congress understands this. The responsibility for what happens rests with Congress if the steel companies decide they cannot accede to union demands and a long drawn-out strike results. You and I here in our comfortable homes may not be directly endangered by this decision, but the men in Korea—our own soldiers and those of our Allies—will find themselves lacking the needed ammunition in a very short time.
There is no time for slow debate and delayed action in Congress. All Americans will wait anxiously to see how quickly our representatives can put through legislation to meet an emergency of this kind.
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I think everyone wished they could say a welcome to General Eisenhower as he landed back in his own country. He has done a wonderful job in Europe, a job perhaps which nobody else could have done. He was the liberator of Europe, and people throughout that continent recognized their debt of gratitude to him and were willing to listen when he urged them to gain in strength to ward off World War III.
The papers Monday evening spoke of the general's farewell to the Army and his appearance before the press as a civilian on Thursday. This change is going to be harder than either the candidate for the Republican nomination which he now becomes, or the people themselves realize.
General Eisenhower has been a military hero, set outside of political differences of opinion. Now he will become a target both within his own party and from the opposing party. The country isn't going to find this transition as easy as they think. They will dislike losing their hero, and I don't know how he will relish being a political target.
Every man who is a candidate has to face the difficulty of controlling his friends, and it is probable that General Eisenhower will have as many of these difficulties as most other candidates have. He will make up his mind, as good candidates do, that he will make no promises, but he will not know what promises are made for him before hand and neither will he realize how this game of politics is played by old and tried politicians, such as Senator Taft and his machine.
Senator Taft might well have waited and allowed the general to receive a well-deserved tribute as the returning commander who has started and actually put on its feet the army of Europe. The Senator couldn't wait, however, and already on Monday he had begun to ask questions and make remarks that were a preview of the kind of pre-convention campaign we may expect.
It looks as if there is going to be much bitter feeling in both political parties and I do not remember any campaign year when there has been so much excitement during the pre-convention weeks.