Tananbaum, Duane, Drawn to public service

(New York, NY :  Columbia University Libraries,  c2009.)



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'^Lehman to Franklin
Roosevelt, April 28,
1944, Lehman Papers,
Special File, Franklin

^^ "Truman Program Held
Inadequate," New York
Times, March 18. 1946,

Peter had been killed when his plane crashed while on a training flight.
Herbert and Edith Lehman took solace in knowing that Peter, like so many
Americans, "willingly and courageously gave his life for his country and for
a great cause." '^

In March of 1946, Lehman resigned as Director General of UNRRA
when he realized that the agency ranked very low on President Harry
Truman's priority list, which became obvious as American food contribu¬
tions to UNRRA were reduced despite the threat of worldwide famine.
Lehman cited health reasons in explaining his departure from UNRRA,
but it quickly became apparent that he was upset with the appointment of
Herbert Hoover as honorary chairman of the President's National Famine
Emergency Council and that he disagreed with Truman's reliance on a vol¬
untary program rather than a resumption of rationing to reduce American
consumption and make more food available for UNRRA and for people in
need overseas. Despite his resignation, Lehman emphasised that his "inter¬
est in the work and complete sympathy with the essential principle of inter¬
national cooperation in relief- and many other activities if we are to have a
world of security and peace - remain unabated." '^

Lehman hoped that his retirement from public service would be short¬
lived. In 1946, he sought to realize his long-held dream of serving in the
U.S. Senate, but he suffered the only electoral defeat of his career. The
New Deal coalition was splintering over both foreign and domestic issues,
and there was widespread dissatisfaction with Truman's economic recon¬
version policies, as well as growing frustration and fear over the spread of
Communism in Eastern Europe, all of which resulted in Republican victo¬
ries across the nation. Lehman ran 400,000 votes ahead of Democratic
gubernatorial candidate James Mead, but still lost to Republican Irving
Ives by 250,000 votes. The former Governor had no regrets, however; he
promised to continue the fight for liberal and progressive government.

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