FEBRUARY 6, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—Not so many months ago in writing a column about the economic situations as I had seen them in the country, I urged that the Administration just watch financial conditions. I knew well there were answers to the few difficulties which appeared on the horizon, but I was afraid in the press of many things the first signs might be ignored. Now the President and Mr. George M. Humphrey, Secretary of the Treasury, have both confirmed my remarks.
The Secretary of the Treasury, speaking before the Joint Committee on the Economic Report said: "There is nothing about a rolling readjustment to be disturbed about. It is only when the adjustment hits all parts of the economy at once—becomes an across-the-board affair—that there is reason for worry. So long as the public keeps on buying, and I think they will, we will work out of this readjustment in a comparatively short time".
The Secretary stated that our economy was shifting from defense to a peace basis. It seems fairly evident that when the public needs things it will keep on buying as long as it has the wherewithal to buy. The real danger lies in the dismissal of men from industrial jobs, and in drastic curtailment of income on farms.
We are all familiar with the way depressions come about and I think we need some careful thinking on how to prevent a "rolling readjustment" going too far. New markets in the world are the answer to farm surpluses here which cannot be bought by our own people, as well as to the loss of jobs. You have to develop these new markets, however, and that requires imagination and courage. We want to be sure that that is present in the Treasury Department because the Treasury can inspire the right kind of action in business.
I am having an orgy of theatre-going this week and on Tuesday night I went to see Franchot Tone in "Oh, Men! Oh, Women!" This is a delightful comedy but I am afraid the psychoanalysts must find it a little hard to take. The very well-poised and dignified doctor who feels he can never make a mistake or lose his calm and dispassionate point of view, becomes a human being and acts in most uncontrolled fashion. The characters were all amusing. How many young women have I heard say, as Myra does, "I don't want to be made over by you. I want to be myself. I like being a child"?
Betsy von Furstenberg does a good piece of acting in Myra's part, but old Doctor Krauss, acted by Henry Sharp, was the character I really enjoyed. I have seen many a wise old doctor just like him, and what a blessing they are to distraught humanity!