Billion-Dollar Watchdog

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To a man once called errand boy, those efforts have produced gratifying results. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which once threw at him everything its angry editors thought fit to print, recently called him "one of the most useful and at the sAme time one of the most forthright and fearless" of today's Senators. In Kansas City he was feted by the Chamber of Commerce, which once fought him tooth & nail. A naturally shy and self-effacing man, Harry Truman brushes off the praise: instead of speaking himself in Kansas City, he introduced the members of his committee, let them talk. But even a perfect democrat could not have helped being pleased.

Happy Crusader. Truman is still a politician, would be loyal to the Pendergast machine today if it still existed. "Tom Pendergast never asked me to do a dishonest deed," he says. "He knew I wouldn't do it if he had asked me. He was always my friend. He was always honest with me, and when he made a promise he kept it. I wouldn't kick a friend when he was down."

But Harry Truman has many another quality not usually associated with machine politicians. He is scrupulously honest: when a magazine paid him $750 for an article on his committee, he added the money to the committee's funds. His only vices are small-stakes poker, an occasional drink of bourbon.

As committee chairman he is a man with a crusade: he says, "The goal of every man on the committee is to promote the war effort to the limit of efficiency and exertion. It doesn't do any good to go around digging up dead horses after the war is over, like the last time. The thing to do is dig this stuff up now, and correct it. If we run this war program efficiently, there won't be any opportunity for someone to stir up a lot of investigations after the war—and cause a wave of revulsion that will start the country on the downhill road to unpreparedness and put us in another war in 20 years. . . ."

In many ways Harry Truman and his committee, celebrating their anniversary this week by poring over another report, seemed the best living proof that democracy, even when imperfect, can be a success.

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