Washington, D. C.--Herbert Hoover built a great department of commerce building but Franklin D. Roosevelt made it famous. The structure now houses the national recovery administration, not to mention the federal home loan bank board and its child, the home owners loan corporation, and the far-reaching activities of the commerce department.
The building is the main center of action here. Its corridors are thronged. It hums. The eyes of the nation are focused on it.
The building is going to feel much of the wartime thrill of patriotism. The thousands of telegrams, from manufacturers and chambers of commerce and others have already arrived, giving the message of national unity of purpose. These carried lights and color with their thrills.
There was the southern man who enthusiastically "cooperated" for 100 telegraphed words and concluded by asking a job as guard at the White House. A West Virginia wrecking company sent its somewhat ambiguous "cooperation." And once in a while there is the cheery personal note, heartening to an harassed president. So far the prize goes to the Pawtucket, Rhode Island, lodge of Moose who began their response to the great summons with, "Dear Brother Moose." It is all a cross section of a nation, depicted by prepaid words on telegraph blanks.
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This is the start, the very little start. We are going to be part of doing that may make the Liberty Loan drives loom out of the mists of antiquity like child's' efforts. The nation will have district recovery boards and state recovery councils. These all overshadowing the regional administrations and the state advisory boards for public works and the state advisory boards for the home owners loan corporation and such minor machinery. Not a commission among them, however, Herbert Hoover's friends no doubt note.
The very immediately we will have an army, so to speak, more impressive than any of these other armies--and these recover councils, by the way, will resemble an army in size and cosmopolitanism. This nearest army is for the purpose of putting across the president's blanket code. Each city will have a general, a man, and a lieutenant- general, a woman. Each general will name three colonels, and a colonel, apparently, will have under him seven on more majors and seven or more captains--and, of course, the buck privates who do the work. The campaign is all down in black and white, and announced by NRA.
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NRA, it may be remarked, has been handicapped from the start with a publicity service more well-meaning than efficient. Too many advertising men have been brought in where real newspapermen were required
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Good judges here believe that the president will put his program across. The country is with him and wanting leadership. It dimly realizes that purchasing power must catch up with production, and will take a chance. And when it is all over, whether it succeeds or fails, those rugged Now England individualists can call Franklin D. Roosevolt many things, but not a Tiar. He promised a New Deal.