AUGUST 12, 1952
HYDE PARK, Monday—A group of United Nations interns came up to use our picnic grounds on Saturday, and Mrs. Minwalle of Pakistan, who is working at the United Nations, stayed over to spend the night. We went in the evening to the second of the museum concert series at the Mills Memorial State Park in Staatsburg, N.Y. This series of three concerts is given by the Hudson Valley Music Circle, and for this one the Classic Art Quartette played a very delightful program which we all enjoyed.
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We had a christening yesterday of little Eleanor Roosevelt Elliott, aged two. She behaved very well for a child her age, but, according to an old superstition, the devil will remain in her because she never cried.
My niece, Mrs. Elliott, and her children, and her mother, Mrs. John Cutter, left us this morning for Mrs. Cutter's farm in Limerick, Maine. To say that my grandchildren—John and Anne's children—are feeling sad is to put it mildly. And for us to have four children leave us is going to make the house and the place seem very quiet and deserted. The youngsters had put up a tent and established a camp in the woods, which was quite near the house, but which still seemed to give them all a sense of independence. You can be sure there were no happy faces on Sunday afternoon when the tent had to come down to be packed for the motor trip.
For this month I have staying in the house only my granddaughter-in-law and her four-months-old baby. It looks as if the remainder of the summer will be rather quiet here.
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I was interested to see yesterday in the newspapers that General Eisenhower, if elected, said he would increase the coverage under Social Security and give larger sums as old-age pensions.
I am all for doing both these things, but I am not quite sure that I understand how they are to be done if taxes are to be drastically cut at the same time. It could be that General Eisenhower, like Governor Stevenson, is counting on reducing the sums we pay out for armament both for ourselves and in supplying our allies.
I hope both Presidential candidates are correct in their estimates and that we will shortly reach a strong enough position so that extra expenditures will not be necessary. I saw that Governor Stevenson had announced that this position could be reached within two years and then taxes could come down.
I take these campaign statements with a grain of salt because I know only too well from past experience that the intention is always present to reduce taxes and, on the part of the United States especially, there is always the desire to cut down armaments. Circumstances alter cases, however, and, as an example, in 1933 and 1934 tremendous additional expenses had to be undertaken and government expenses could not be cut. So, similar situations may arise again and one can only say that one hopes both the Republican and Democratic candidates may be able to carry out their hopes of reducing the national expenses.