Franklin Roosevelt beamed and nodded at his advisers as they crowded around with enthusiastic plans for the second four years of the New Deal. He beamed and chatted on with the Press who quizzed him at its conferences. Yes, he thought something should be done to regulate the influx of foreign funds ("hot money," he called it) whose sudden withdrawal might cause a stockmarket panic. No, he still did not think any new taxes would be necessary. Yes, he would not be surprised if John Gilbert Winant, who resigned during the campaign, should return to head the Social Security Board.* No, he had not given any thought to filling vacant posts in his official family. On only two points was he at all definite: He urged the U.S. people this year as always to celebrate Thanksgiving on the last Thursday in November. He expressed his firm intention to regroup and reorganize his patchwork of Government departments and alphabetic agencies. On all other subjects he was amiable, encouraging, glad to give everyone free rein to make plans, entirely noncommittal as to what he would do about them.
The President's vagueness was practical as well as diplomatic. For last week he was very busy cramming for his annual fiscal examination, the Budget message which he must send to Congress in January. Eager to get away on vacation, with plans all set to sail this week from Charleston to the Pan American Peace Conference at Buenos Aires, he had to do intensive studying before leaving. Every morning his tutor, Budget Director Daniel Bell, came to the White House to give him an hour's instruction. Afterward the tutor departed leaving Pupil Roosevelt with his homework, the budget requests of one or two more departments.
Never one to risk becoming a dull boy by too much work, the President also found time last week to engage in several extracurricular activities.
¶He had in Colonel Edwin Halsey, Secretary of the Senate, to discuss plans for his reinauguration on the probably chilly noon of Jan. 20.
¶On Armistice morning he motored to Arlington Cemetery, to watch General Pershing lay the Presidential wreath of white chrysanthemums upon the tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
¶One bright afternoon he bundled his good friend, Under Secretary of Agriculture & Resettlement Administrator Rexford Guy Tugwell, into an open automobile, whisked him out of Washington and out of the shadowy silence in which he had been discreetly kept during the campaign. Their goal was Greenbelt, $10,000,000 model suburb which Dr. Tugwell is building on 8,000 rolling Maryland acres five miles north of the District of Columbia. For the handsomest braintruster, this display of Presidential favor came at a critical moment. Congress last session had refused to appropriate funds for his Resettlement Administration, forcing him to confine its activities chiefly to drought relief, financed by handouts from WPA. With a thoroughgoing Governmental re-organization in prospect, Administrator Tugwell was last week jockeying strenuously to get his emergency agency incorporated in the Department of Agriculture, where he could expect solid permanence, ample appropriations. But Secretary Wallace was known to be reluctant to adopt this controversial foundling, and a group of onetime AAAdministrator Chester Davis' friends was actively opposing the move.