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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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and to beg you, no matter what you think of the idea, to keep it to yourself until after the Cabinet meeting is over, until after he's reconciled Johnson to the fact that he, Johnson, isn't going to administer the public works. Then you can go to the President and tell him anything you want to. If it's wrong for you to administer it, if you know just cause why you should not (I remember using those words), then you can be the temporary holder of it. Then the President can appoint somebody else next week or the week after, but you hold it temporarily. Marshall your facts and see him later. That's all I'm asking you to do. Just don't have a break.”

“Well,” he said, “all right. I suppose I can do that much, but I think this is a very peculiar technique. But I'm glad the President is not going to give it to Johnson.”

Then we went into Cabinet meeting. The President handled it very skillfully, as he nearly always did when he had a delicate situation in the Cabinet meeting. He merely announced that the bill was passed and that he meant to sign it that afternoon. He said he meant to appoint Hugh Johnson as the administrator. He gave quite a speech about how we'd have to guard against one thing and another in the administration, what a big job it was, and so forth and so on. He didn't ask their opinion about Johnson. Of course, it wasn't necessary that he should.

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