JUNE 15, 1957
HYDE PARK—There was reported in the newspapers recently a bit of conversation that occurred some years ago between President Eisenhower and the late Senator Robert A. Taft in which the Senator committed himself to the support of increased housing and school construction.
President Eisenhower wondered why, since this was true, he was labeled more or less a radical while the Senator was considered to be a conservative, for their views on these two problems were the same.
This was an amusing little conversation. It makes one feel that the President is trying hard to work with the conservative wing of his party. And this, I suppose, is no more than natural, for a President must try to retain his political following if he is to have much success in Congress.
The fact is, the people of this country are more sympathetic to the liberal elements of the President's Administration than they are with the die-hard conservative Republican group led by Senator William F. Knowland of California.
A case in point is the President's civil rights legislation. Many of us consider it mild, indeed. And the American people will watch with interest to see if the conservative element of the Republican party joins with the Southern conservatives of the Democratic party to defeat the legislation or pass the jury trial amendment, which would be the equivalent of having no civil rights law.
This civil rights defeat can be accomplished, of course, if the old coalition of conservatives in both parties remains intact. But I do not think the people as a whole would approve. They would prefer the President to win out.
In looking at the picture of the Mayflower II, lying at her moorings in the harbor at Plymouth, Mass., I thought how small she appeared and how many persons the original Mayflower must have carried on her voyage to America.
How glad the people who sailed over on the Mayflower II must feel in arriving here even today! Their first requests, I noticed, were for a steak and a bath—both normal desires. But how different it must have been for those who made the first trip, for their first thoughts were of building shelters and starting to produce a food supply!
The return of the Mayflower stirs our imagination and should make us think back on the remarkable achievements of our ancestors.
Everyone must read of former Senator Walter F. George's illness with hope for a rapid recovery. When a person is 79, an illness of this kind must give grave concern. But, however, miracles are accomplished by modern medicine. So our best wishes go out to the former Senator for a speedy recovery.