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Memorandum for Mr. Harriman, Mr. Murphy, and Company from George Elsey,
May 29, 1951
MEMORANDUM FOR MR. HARRIMAN, MR. MURPHY, AND COMPANY
I don't like to be a kill-joy but I wonder if we aren't a little too optimistic
about the way things are going on the MacArthur row. I think we may be
over-optimistic about the extent to which the public understands the
President's position and sympathizes with the Administration in the firing of
MacArthur. I don't see that we have any cause for joy because conservative
newspapers like the Herald Tribune side with the President on this issue. The
Herald Tribune's readers will always oppose the Fair Deal and all it stands
The Gallup Poll published on May 16th contained what I thought were some very
disturbing statistics. It shows that the vote of approval for the President's
action in firing MacArthur goes down steadily with the amount of formal
education. Gallup tested a cross-section in "Who's Who" and found that 51%
approved the President's action and 46% disapproved. However, only 25% of the
general public approved and 66% disapproved.
It seems to me that we cannot afford to slack off in our constant emphasis and
reiteration that MacArthur stood for war and the President stands for peace.
This and this alone will sink in with the general public, while technical
arguments about "civilian control" won't mean a thing to the people at large.
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