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at that time one of the largest federal agencies in the
country, and he knew a great deal about legislation and the mechanics of legislation
and the psychology of politicians.
And this was something you had not yet learned.
I had never had any contact with Washington at all, officially or unofficially. He
knew a great deal. He was desperately disappointed at the loss of a merchant marine
bill in 1923, a bill that he got introduced to enlarge the U.S. Merchant Marine--this
bill was defeated by one vote, as the result of a friend of his, Medill McCormick,
not appearing to vote, although it meant everything to Albert to see this bill go
through. He hated Washington, and he hated to go to Washington, but he knew it and he
knew what it took to get anything done there.
Well, at this time, in the spring or summer of '39, I really didn't realize how much
his point of view about the kind of money that it took to get anything in these areas
really done would mean, but as I look back on it, it was a key factor in whatever
we've been able to do.
As you look back on it, too, Mrs. Lasker, do you think you might have been daunted by
the whole project if you had realized at that time?
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