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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Then he said, “Now, I'd like to ask the opinion of the Cabinet as to what they think about the administration of Title II, which you will remember has to do with public works and carries with it an authorization of a public works program for the purpose of relieving unemployment. Yet it must be a useful program. It mustn't just be building stone walls. That's a very big and important piece of work. What do you think about it? It is in the same bill. How do you think it should be administered?”

Johnson wasn't there yet. He was telling the Cabinet that the bill was through, he was going to sign it, and was going to appoint Johnson to be the administrator. Then he raised with the Cabinet the question, “What do you think about Title II and its administration?” I tell this story on page 201 of my book, The Roosevelt I Knew. It's a pretty good digest of what actually went on at that meeting, because the President appeared to be asking the Cabinet's opinion, and I think he was asking the Cabinet's opinion.

He pointed out to the Cabinet that as the bill was written it appeared to be taken for granted that the same individual, the same administrative authority, would administer both titles, but that as you read it over, and as the Attorney General read it over, it was not necessary.

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