MARCH 15, 1957
IOWA CITY, Iowa—I was not surprised that President Eisenhower was asked by the House of Representatives to recommend cuts in his $71,800,000,000 budget. For the budget is, after all, presented by the President and his departments are asking for the money.
If he himself comes out in support of trimming the budget, it is reasonable for Congress to ask him for his recommendations on where it should be cut.
It would not be easy for him, however, to make these recommendations, for wherever he would suggest cuts he would be pruning down some pet scheme of a member of his own Administration.
If the President really wanted this economy, he should have asked for it before his departments made up their respective budgets. Now it will be very difficult for any of them to make cuts voluntarily.
While in Minnesota, I read a newspaper report of the Republican National Executive Committee's meeting in Washington and of a press conference by Meade Alcorn, national party chairman, in which the correspondent said:
"There was a notable soft-pedalling of the modern Republicanism theme. There also was a suggestion that President Eisenhower play a less prominent role than in past campaigns."
These evidently are good tactics, and I am sure that if the Old Guard Republicans are going to be in charge of party policy, Vice-President Richard M. Nixon will play a prominent part in their meetings.
I was saddened by the death of Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, whom I remember most vividly as a young man in the Navy. He had had a football accident and was afraid he might not be able to continue in his chosen career, but he was putting up a strong fight to stay in.
My husband and I had a great admiration for him then and all through his later life, for we saw a great deal of him. I am grateful that I had the opportunity to know this very great man and had the intimate sense of his continuing friendship. Only last year we met at a dinner in his honor in New York City.
Visiting the University of Minnesota, as I have just done, gives one a sense of being right in the middle of a city, for it is the third largest university in the United States. The University of California is the largest and the University of Illinois, second largest.
The University of Minnesota's growth reflects the extraordinary interest of the people of the area in educational opportunity. Minnesota does not have the resources that California and Illinois have, yet in Minneapolis it has developed this remarkable institution. In addition, at nearby St. Paul is Macalester College, from which many of the prominent people of that state, such as Senator Hubert H. Humphrey, have graduated.