JANUARY 30, 1953
NEW YORK, Thursday—Back in New York City again and with a mountain of mail facing me and a day full of engagements. But I am afraid I won't get at any of it until Thursday night, and I must be through it by then because Friday I go to Hyde Park where I will meet, at my husband's grave, the poster child who will lay a wreath. This is done every year during the March of Dimes campaign.
It was fine to hear over the radio this morning that the bus strike here had come to an end. The people of New York City showed remarkable self-control for the duration of the strike. There was very little complaint, considering the great discomfort and difficulty many people labored under. Crowds were heavier than usual in the subways and many travelers had to arrange for other means of transportation, spending a great deal more time and sometimes money in getting to and from work.
One thing became very evident during the strike; that was that the buses hold up traffic. I always had thought it was private cars, but buses seem to be even guiltier. It certainly is essential that something be done about traffic in New York City.
There are certain cross streets where double parking goes on so much of the time that if you try to go through you are caught in an interminable traffic jam. And there are other areas of the city where one moves at a snail's pace. Private cars may be largely to blame, but whatever the cause it seems to me that those who have been studying traffic should come up with some very real changes in the near future.
Having just come back from Washington, I am interested in passing along to you some of the things I heard.
One of the chief topics of conversation concerns the reorganization of the government, and it struck me as particularly difficult to understand. The Republican majority in Congress does not seem to want reorganization plans introduced by the President.
The President requested a continuation of the authority that Mr. Truman had to reorganize the Executive Branch of the Federal government. Under the existing law, which expires on March 31, it requires a constitutional majority—or more than half of all the members of either branch of Congress—to defeat a Presidential reorganization plan. But the House and Senate committees have decided that they prefer to be able to kill such a plan by a simple majority, which can be merely one more than half a quorum of either branch.
All the Democrats voted in favor of upholding the President's authority, I am told, but it was defeated by the Republicans! It does not look as though the House and Senate are so keen for reorganizing in the interest of economy.
Before I left Washington on Wednesday I had breakfast with my son and his wife, Franklin Jr. and Sue, and my granddaughter who is growing apace. I spoke on the United Nations at a luncheon at the Women's Democratic Club, and in the afternoon I had a long conference with a group from the Baltimore Chapter of the American Association for the U.N. In the evening, at the Hotel Washington, I spoke before the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority on the stake and responsibility of women in the U.N.