[Charles W.] Eliot to Colonel House
Dear Colonel House
Secretaries McAdoo and Houston must have made the acquaintance of a considerable number of candidates for the Federal Reserve Board during their recent journeyings; but the sifting process increases in difficulty as candidates multiply. Mr. Houston would certainly be a first-rate member of the Board; but it would be extremely difficult to replace him as Secretary of Agriculture.
I have met both Mr. Harding and Mr. Wallace Simmons but do not know their careers well enough to make my advice about them of any use.
Gordon Abott is a trustworthy and successful man; but I do not know how he would work in a new field and among new associates. He has had very serious breakdowns, and men that have had that experience usually have to work moderately in familiar fields, after they are fifty years old, with avoidance of anxiety, combat, and hostile criticism.
You say nothing in your letter of the 6th about the President’s opinion concerning Labor Unions and their future. When he gets through with capitalistic monopolies he ought to tackle the new labor problems in the interest of freedom. Industrial freedom is quite as important as political freedom; and what is much talked of nowadays as social justice is unattainable so long as we fail to secure, in law and custom, industrial freedom.¹
¹The sentence, “If I were you I would not touch this at present, if at all.” is handwritten vertically and underlined next to this paragraph in the left margin.