DECEMBER 4, 1952
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Even before Inauguration Day trouble seems to be brewing for President-elect Eisenhower. Senator Taft has been quoted as saying that the choice of Martin Durkin, a Democrat, to be Secretary of Labor, is "an incredible appointment" and "an affront to millions of union members and officers."
It seems strange that Senator Taft should decry an affront to labor, since he has quite willingly affronted labor himself as co-author of the Taft-Hartley Act.
It is not for me to say whether this appointment is wise or not wise. The fact is that it has caused some controversy where, as a rule, there is at least a short honeymoon period between the new President and Congress. This outburst on the part of Senator Taft would seem to indicate that the country will not be treated even to a few weeks of harmony between the White House and the Senate prior to and immediately following Inauguration Day. This is a sad outlook for the President-elect, since he usually has to count on these few weeks to get over the major things that he feels important to do immediately.
I think the election of George Meany as head of the AFL will turn out to be a very good choice. He has already suggested that the CIO and the AFL join hands again. This will not be easy. It will take a long time if it can be accomplished at all, but if it can be done then the new Secretary of Labor will have a more powerful force behind him than any other Secretary of Labor has had.
With the recent appointment of Ivy Baker Priest our paper money will continue to be signed by a woman during the new administration.
The Federal Security Administration will, however, be headed by a woman for the first time—in the person of Mrs. Oveta Culp Hobby. Though her post does not have Cabinet status, it is as important and some of us think it is one of the most important jobs in the government. Well known for her administrative ability as head of the WACS and in other positions, Mrs. Hobby will study her job and understand the functions of each one of the bureaus under her. There is more chance, I think, in this agency to benefit the people of the country than in almost any other, though we know that every branch of the government is important in the lives of the people.
I am always glad to see women get posts of importance and I hope that there will be many women serving as public servants in various offices in the Republican administration. There are many able women in the GOP ranks and they should be used to the utmost.