NOVEMBER 22, 1952
NEW YORK, Friday—It was not a surprise to read yesterday that John Foster Dulles had been named by President-elect Eisenhower as the next Secretary of State. Mr. Dulles had every reason to expect that he would have been named if Governor Dewey had been elected in 1948, and he certainly has added to his experience in the last four years.
I had read previously that he had laid down certain rules for the office, stating that at present the job didn't allow the Secretary of State to make policy because he was expected to be in so many places and do so many little odd jobs that could quite easily be delegated. Presumably, his desire for a very able administrative Under Secretary, who will take most of the burden of running the Department off his hands, will be acceded to and it will be interesting to see whom he chooses for this particular job.
In the big departments in Washington it is very easy for the department to run the temporary chiefs who come and go. There are so many people who must remain in their posts and who know the regular workings of all the offices that it takes vast experience and knowledge for anyone in the higher brackets really to run a Federal department.
I congratulate Mr. Dulles on achieving his ambition and hope that he will find his responsibilities as interesting and as satisfying as he anticipates.
The choice of Charles E. Wilson as Secretary of Defense is an interesting one. Robert A. Lovett has done such an able job in this post that I think he should be able to give his successor much information that will be useful. And, certainly, Mr. Wilson, who has been president of the General Motors Corporation for 12 years will find an even bigger and more challenging job awaiting him.
Governor Douglas McKay of Oregon who is to be Secretary of Interior has been both a businessman and a politician. He will have under his jurisdiction some of the most important things so far as our home situation is concerned. For instance, one of the problems I do not think any citizen of the United States should be happy about is the condition of the American Indians. Something drastic should be done and a restudy should be made of the whole Indian situation.
I see that Governor McKay was opposed to the creation of a Columbia Valley Authority, but he is considered a reclamation expert. I suppose, therefore, he must be interested in the conservation of our national resources and if he does not like the present plans for developing the Columbia River basin it will be interesting to see what he considers a better way to do it.
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Wednesday night I went to the Citizens Conference on International Economic Union held at the Town Hall. I saw a great many familiar faces since this organization counts among its members many people from many parts of the country and from a variety of organizations. Once I was through with my own talk I thoroughly enjoyed hearing Professor Hans Kohn speak. He differed with me on a number of points but has a most delightful and amusing way of doing it. Later I thoroughly enjoyed the question-and-answer session.