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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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of Labor and I often went to see Al Smith, who had an office in the Empire State Building by this time. I would call up and ask if I might see him. I would get an appointment. At first I always told the President I was going. I would say, “I'm going to New York and hope to see Al Smith. Have you got any messages for him?” He would nearly always say, “Give him my best regard,” or something like that. But on one occasion he said, “You're very good, aren't you? You keep up that friendship.”

“Well,” I said, “I'm very fond of him. I like his advice about many things. I want to keep in touch with him. I do not like him to feel he's got no friends of the old crowd.”

He said, “I wish you'd tell Al that I honestly think an awful lot of him and that I'm very grateful to him. I wish he would come down and see me. I honestly mean that.”

I went over and saw Al and told him, “These are the exact words that the President said to me yesterday when I told him I was coming to see you.”

He said, “Humph, you think he means it?”

I said, “Yes, I'm very sure he means it. I think he means it because of the difference in the tone and expression in which he said this and which he uses to say perfectly polite greetings.”

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