NEWS FROM WASHINGTON
Because of a delay in the mail, Mr. Cross' second article on Washington will not appear until next week. In its place, Mr. Bulkley S. Griffin, Washington correspondent for over a score of New England newspapers, reviews the recent political developments.
Gen, Johnson, NIRA's commander, speaking:
"I have to have deputy administrators whom I know won't run away under fire. We are going along fine now but pretty soon the air will be full of dead cats. . .
"Am I going to put a code of fair competition on the newspapers? (Smiling) I hope I may be spared that cup."
These informal and irreverent remarks of Gen. Hugh Johnson, administrator of the National Industrial Recovery Act, tell most of the story as of today.
NIRA must pass through storms and if it is to succeed the citizenry must be back of it. The citizenry reads the press.
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There is the time element, constantly pressing the best-laid plans of presidents and brain trusts. Mr. Roosevelt must score a big success, quick, or his program is likely to fall.
The reasons are fairly obvious. The mass of our citizens have not followed the progress of the President. He moves too fast and too violently for them. So they are judging him purely by immediate results. If results are bad in the next couple of months, the people are liable to desert their leaders. The President knows this and is after quick success, for the sake of the larger hopes.
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It is a great summer here, a remarkable and historic summer. Some far-reaching kind of socialism is being essayed and, so far as Roosevelt, Johnson, and two or three of the other captains there are concerned, it will be put across no matter how much it hurts the manufacturer and business man. That is the important point. Some head men are ready for a showdown, if necessary. (But they would hate it.) An important business man counts for as much with Gen. Johnson as you or I do. The spacious halls of the commerce department, once wonted to bow low when a Business Man have in view, are witnessing strange things. The spectacle is typical of the new heaven and the new earth being manufactured out of professors' ideals and Johnson's dynamic crash and irreverence.
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Other things are going on here, too. The agricultural adjustment administration is telling the farmera that they can't run their own farms, and trying to make them like it. Secretary of the Interior lckes is spending $3,300,000 and doing it in a fashion that seems niggardly to the honest pork-barrel politicians. It must be paid back, says lckes, and he is from Missouri about this paying back. Cities and states must show him. A splendid row of proposed post offices, reaching from here to Siberia, is being drastically reduced. Nothing is as it was.
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A lot of bluff in it all, of course. The classic example is Attorney-General Cummings' campaign against gold hoarding. It was never intended to be anything but bluff--God willing. How far can the New Deal go? It does not know. Over at agriculture they are threatening about unreasonable bread prices. It is an advanture, this threat. Bread has been picked because it affords a popular ground for such a campaign. But if it comes to excessive prices for automobiles or ships? No one knews. How far dare the threat be carried? The popular frame of mind and the courts must be reckened with.
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In the end the people will decide-and that mighty soon--whether Franklin D. Roosevelt will go down in history as great or well-intentioned. Hence the great publicity or propaganda campaign--outdoing, it is hoped, the Liberty Lean drives--that is almost upon us. If the people are with you, that is success--legal, political, and historical.