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Christine Hardy Little Oral History Interview

Christine and Benjamin Hardy

Oral History Interview
with
Christine Hardy Little

Wife of Benjamin H. Hardy, Jr. (staff member of the Office of Public Affairs, Department of State, and Director of Public Affairs, Technical Cooperation Administration).

Arlington, Virginia
February 23, 1973
by Richard D. McKinzie

See also Benjamin H. Hardy Papers finding aid

Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript
List of Subjects Discussed

 


Notice
This is a transcript of a tape-recorded interview conducted for the Harry S. Truman Library. A draft of this transcript was edited by the interviewee but only minor emendations were made; therefore, the reader should remember that this is essentially a transcript of the spoken, rather than the written word.

Numbers appearing in square brackets (ex. [45]) within the transcript indicate the pagination in the original, hardcopy version of the oral history interview.

RESTRICTIONS
This oral history transcript may be read, quoted from, cited, and reproduced for purposes of research. It may not be published in full except by permission of the Harry S. Truman Library.

Opened February, 1974
Harry S. Truman Library
Independence, Missouri

[Top of the Page | Notices and Restrictions | Interview Transcript | List of Subjects Discussed]



Oral History Interview with
Christine Hardy Little

Arlington, Virginia
February 23, 1973
by Richard D. McKinzie

 

[1]

MCKINZIE: Mrs. Little, I wonder if you could begin by saying something about Ben Hardy's background, his schooling, how he happened to eventually come into Government?

LITTLE: Benjamin Hill Hardy, Jr., was the son of a weekly newspaper editor and publisher in Barnesville, Georgia, where he was born in 1906. His mother died when he was eight years old and he was reared largely by his father and two old maid aunts. Throughout high school at a local military school, Gordon Military Institute, he had the usual prep school courses and drills, and so forth, and was active as first captain and winner of the best drill company.

MCKINZIE: What was his father's occupation?

LITTLE: He was the editor of a paper.

 

[2]

He was editor and publisher of a Barnesville weekly newspaper. Ben was brought up, practically, in this newspaper office, because of his mother not being at home and the two old maid aunts. The father kept the son down in the newspaper plant, which wasn't very large, maybe five or six rooms -- something like that, But anyway, he learned to love the newspaper business at his father's knee, and knew from the beginning that that was what he wanted to do.

So, he wrote well, he expressed himself well, easily, and gently. He was a gentle person, a very kind man, a kind young fellow, some man!

MCKINZIE: Did you ever hear him say why he went to a military academy? Was it the best possible education one could get in that area at the time?

LITTLE: Oh yes, it was the local high school. And the town has a unique history of not having the ordinary high school. It had a military school that had a special grant for local students. I even went to it. I am a graduate of a military school.

 

[3]

So, Ben Hardy had that training and was active in everything that he could get into in this small town school. He attended the University of Georgia, receiving his BA in journalism and master of arts at the same time, in 1928, during the usual four-year period.

MCKINZIE: I take it he was a very good student.

LITTLE: Yes, but he also traveled in the summer, in Europe, so he had done that in addition to traveling. He was a very bright young man, and he was also Phi Beta Kappa. If you would care to see his college year book it will show you that he was president of practically everything he entered into. He was president of his class many times -- that sort of a man. During his summer vacations from college he toured Europe with friends, absorbing as much of the artistic and literary atmosphere as he could, and when he returned then he would write it, do some writing on that.

His last trip during the college years was a summer spent in England with his former roommate who was by now a Rhodes scholar, and they had a very wonderful, happy time. By the way, this chap's name is Thomas J. Hamilton

 

[4]

and he was the New York Times United Nations man for many years. I have not seen his name for 8 or 10 years, so he may have passed on, I don't know. But anyway, he was a very fine young man and Ben's closest friend.

After graduation at the university, he taught at the university one year, the first year English, and the next year he went to the military school, Gordon Military School, where he had had his high school training and taught English there for a year. Then he became a cub reporter on the Atlanta Journal in 1930, That was the year he and I were married.

MCKINZIE: What kinds of stories did they assign him at the Atlanta Journal?

LITTLE: The police beat was the first one, you know, and the same kind of stories that all cub reporters have, the lowest down on the totem poles. He enjoyed it thoroughly, he loved it, he learned a great deal about the seamy side of life that he had not seen too much.

At that time his father was injured in an automobile accident and he was needed to help out at the newspaper. So, we left Atlanta and went to Barnesville, and he ran

 

[5]

the newspaper for two years until his father recovered. Then he bought the weekly newspaper in Biloxi, Mississippi, which he turned into a daily and sold within a year afterwards because it wasn't making money and the depression years were getting harder and harder -- that was '33 and '34.

After losing his shirt in Biloxi he joined the Associated Press in Richmond, Virginia where he worked for three and a half years, and at the end of which he became a one-man bureau in Roanoke, Virginia, covering the state -- everything for the Associated Press -- the western half of the state.

MCKINZIE: Those were enjoyable years for you?

LITTLE: Oh, yes, they were very happy years, the children were small. We have a daughter, too, and she is married to a Ph.D. in geology and they live in Arlington Heights, Illinois, and they have three young sons, all of whom are Hardy's. They are very interesting children and, of course, Ben Hardy, our son, has four boys, so I have seven grandsons, and Ben Hardy has 7 grandsons.

MCKINZIE: Why did he decide to terminate his affiliation with the Associated Press, as a one-man bureau?

 

[6]

LITTLE: The war started and the New York office needed somebody capable of organizing a new press association for radio service and were asking all around, "Who has a man who can do this?" The Associated Press manager in Richmond said, "We have a man in the western part of the state that can do it," and they sent Ben to New York.

That was a fine year for us, but I don't care for New York particularly, living in New York, I like to go there, but I was very happy to come back to Virginia near Washington.

MCKINZIE: Were there any radio programs aired in this project?

LITTLE: Oh yes, they were getting it organized. I have a record that he made broadcasting news that I have never dared turn on since he was killed, but I think that someday I may turn it on, it was just too hard for me to do that.

His year in New York with the press association was terminated because he found it uncomfortable to work with a particular man. I think the man was blasphemous and swore constantly, and Ben didn't want to be in that atmosphere. So, he chose to look for another job and somebody wrote him a letter and asked him if he would be

 

[7]

interested in a State Department job, so he took it, and we came to Washington, to the Virginia suburbs.

MCKINZIE: So, it wasn't a matter of quitting a job completely without anyplace to go?

LITTLE: Oh no. Never. But he did that when we left Brazil, he had no fears. He was a very capable, competent man in many directions and he was not troubled by any thoughts of not having sufficient employment.

MCKINZIE: But then you moved back to Washington in 1943?

LITTLE: We moved back to Virginia, Arlington, across the river from Washington, it was in 1944 that the Inter-American Affairs office sent him to Brazil as press officer for their organization. His two years there were filled with wonderful unfoldments in the back country. He saw a great deal of Brazil's back country; the Indians, and the desert, and the Minas Gerais country, which is where the diamonds and the iron, all of the precious stones are mined in great abundance. We (the family) went back there and enjoyed that with him.

 

[8]

When the war was terminated, the State Department took over the Coordinator of Inter-American Affairs Office and made it a branch under the State Department and offered him the job as press officer in the Embassy in Brazil. Because of our young children's education we preferred to return to America, and did, after he just resigned. And it was during a holiday in Uruguay and Argentina at the end of this tour that we had time on board ship, a freighter, in the harbor at Santos, Brazil to think.

MCICINZIE: The freighter was en route back to the United States after you spent a holiday in Uruguay and Argentina?

LITTLE: Yes, we were there a number of weeks and the ship was unloading and loading, but it came to Santos to pick up a large, a real load of A&P 8 o'clock coffee -- by the way, raw coffee is a very unpleasant smelling produce, do you know that? Very strong, very weird "perfume," if you want to call it perfume. But it was while we were waiting in the Santos harbor for the Communist-inspired strike to terminate so the coffee could be loaded, that I first heard him voice what has

 

[9]

become the Point 4 Program.

MCKINZIE: What were the circumstances of that conversation?

LITTLE: We were resting after a trip to the beach, on the shady side of the deck and we were reading, I think, and we suddenly stopped reading and began to talk about prospects at home and what was happening in the world. And he said that he had seen enough in Brazil to convince him that the underdeveloped countries could be helped tremendously with agricultural, medical, educational facilities to teach them how to do for themselves what needed to be done.

MCKITTZIE: Did he at that time give any rationale for why this needed to be done? For the people themselves, or were there other reasons?

LITTLE: First he said for the people themselves, everybody, Indians, the Africans. He always believed in people; he believed that every man is capable of doing everything if he is of a mind to, and that they would have to be taught to have a mind to do for themselves, to raise themselves

 

[10]

up by their bootstraps so to speak. He was talking about the news that we had received. The freighter received news by wireless every day and we had a little typed newspaper there that we read and we had read something about new pressures that the Soviets were exerting toward the United States, with a constant stream of demands and trickeries, and he said that by teaching these people to do for themselves they wouldn't be such easy prey to the Communist ideas that were being manifest on the docks -- because the Communists had stopped the loading of the boat, and there was a strike there because of the Communists. The Communist Party was very strong in Brazil at that time. We went to a downtown rally to see them while we lived in Rio where there were thousands of Communists parading, peaceably, everybody had a torch. It was a very interesting experience. But the Communists were certainly working in Brazil to capture the thought of the people.

MCKINZIE: Do you recall what date or what month of the year this might have been when you had this conversation with him?

 

[11]

LITTLE: Yes, it was April 1946. The day I don't know, but April 1946. It was not until two and a half years later that I heard this idea mentioned again from Ben. We usually had one large party in the winter. We invited everybody that we liked and enjoyed to our house early in the season and it was usually on the Sunday afternoon after Thanksgiving Day, sort of an open house, or tea or something of that sort. The morning before the party in the afternoon, I stated to Ben, "It's time that we do something to stop the Russians." We had just heard on the radio that they were doing some things that shouldn't have been done.

And he answered me, "I've already done it. On Wednesday before Thanksgiving I sent a memorandum to Francis Russell outlining a foreign aid program," and the date was the 23rd of November 1948.

The day of the party he didn't come to the party that we had that afternoon. He got a call about 1:15 from the State Department to report down there about this paper, and so he never showed up at our party, That was the first time he had done that, but it happened more often later.

 

[12]

MCKINZIE: May we go back then to a period after April 1946 for a moment, and your return then with your family to Virginia?

LITTLE: Yes, we had our home in Virginia, a place that we felt very strongly about. We had rented it to a friend while we were overseas and we were very happy to get back to it. The first day that Ben went to town after our return (he had resigned so he had no job) he ran into a friend who was working in the Pentagon who said that General Marshall was looking for him -- a suspicious way of stating it, but he went to General Marshall with his friend, immediately, and General Marshall took him on immediately.

MCKINIIE: How did he happen to know General Marshall?

LITTLE: This other man was working for General Marshall. He (the friend) had lost his job because he crossed one of the owners. And Ben and he had been friends, they had been Press Club friends. Ben went with him, and General Marshall hired him that very day. So he was taken care of in the first day.

 

[13]

Well, he came back and he enjoyed very much his association with General Marshall. He often repeated General Marshall's humorous stories, which I don't believe are generally ascribed to the General. I don't know that many people know about his humor.

MCKINZ IE : The job with the Defense Department was a matter of writing?

LITTLE: Yes, he was a writer, always a writer, and he wrote for General Marshall, and many times he wrote for General Marshall's generals. I have a case of speeches that he made for Marshall and speeches that he did for other generals. But he was not mainly a speech writer. It turned out that he was becoming one, but that had not been his plan of life by any means.

MCKINZIE: During this period did he have any particularly strong ideas about what the United States Government should be doing? You mentioned that he didn't bring up the foreign aid program until in November of 1948; were there other ideas as a speech writer for generals that you recall?

 

[14]

LITTLE: No, I don't recall any particular ideas that evolved at that time. It was a happy time for him. He was generally an easy, happy individual, and he always seemed to believe that each day must be lived as though it was the last one, but he was always an easy, happy individual.

I don't know that I ever saw him happier than at the Inauguration in 1949.

When General Marshall was made Secretary of State he took Ben along on his writing staff, but the General soon became ill and was hospitalized. After an operation for a lung cleared, then Ben found himself in the Public Affairs office, as a writer, and worked as an assistant to Francis Russell, Director of the Office of Public Affairs.

After Truman's victory over the Republicans' presidential aspirant Tom Dewey, Ben was very happy -- jubilant -- but never dreamed of his future association with the Truman administration.

On the Sunday morning before we were about to have this large party I said to Ben, "We really do have to find a way to stop the Russians from taking over the world,"

 

[15]

And he answered promptly, "I already have the answer, and I have written it in a memorandum to Francis Russell two days ago,"

MCKINZIE : You mentioned that he went to the State Department at the request of General Marshall. and then when General Marshall was not really very active because of his illness, did Mr. Hardy then find the State Department a different kind of place than he anticipated it would be when he went there?

LITTLE: Well, he hadn't really known what was going to be his experience there. He was open minded, it was a job, he was writing, that was what he wanted to do, and he had an easy sense that something good was going on, was going to happen without formulating any ideas about what might happen. It was an interesting period in his life,

MCKINZIE: When he mentioned to you that he had written the memorandum to Francis Russell, I assume that the idea was that Francis Russell would then send the memorandum, if he approved it, on up the chain of command to Robert Lovett, who was Acting Secretary.

 

[16]

LITTLE: As a matter of fact, Francis Russell liked this memorandum very much, was enthusiastic about it, and encouraged Ben consistently. At that time he (Russell) didn't know that the President would ask him to see that the inaugural address was written. It was just a chain of events occurring, one at a time, and I suppose it was that chain of events that convinced Ben that it was a Divine idea.

MCKINZIE: What did happen to the memorandum, the first memorandum that he made?

LITTLE: The first memorandum was circulated in the State Department, how far I don't know. All I know is what Ben told me of his office. I was not a secretary, I was just his wife at home that would listen interestedly to every step of the development. It was a fascinating thing to be working with, as you can imagine.

MCKINZIE: Yes. Perhaps then you could relate what the sequence of events was after the submission of the first memorandum?

LITTLE: Yes. I think (I may not be accurate on this time),

 

[17]

but it was only a few days, perhaps 10 days, before the request came from the White House for an inaugural address to Mr. Russell, and Mr. Russell had a writer capable of writing such an address who had an idea that was worthy of this address, so it was handed to Ben to do. And then it went to Mr. Lovett, who turned it down, saying the world was not ready for such an idea as foreign aid in this form would bring about, and asked for another. This is my recollection from Ben that Mr. Lovett said he would like to have another address, and Ben did a second one which had included the foreign aid idea which was turned down immediately with the statement, "We'll get somebody else to write the address."

MCKINZIE: Because it contained the same ideas.

LITTLE: The same idea, practically the same. I have not been able to see the difference, a trained eye may. I have all three of the drafts -- they've been in my safety deposit box in the bank for 21 years.

The third address that was written by someone else turned out to be wholly unsatisfactory, (I have a copy of it.) And after maybe a week or two, maybe it was

 

[18]

about the first week in December, Ben was told he was to try again to write the inaugural address.

So, the third time he reworded the address, not changing too many words I'm sure, including the foreign aid idea and it came to him not to send it through the State Department because it would be thrown out again but to take it to the White House regardless of cost, whatever might occur. We discussed this at length and finally decided that we didn't have anything to lose except a job.

MCKINZIE: He was that thoroughly convinced that the idea was a valid idea

LITTLE: Yes, absolutely sure, and so was I, and I backed him to my fullest. And so the next morning he called Mr. Elsey at the White House. He did not know Mr. Elsey. I believe he said that he had talked with him once on very casual matters, and his name he recalled, so he telephoned him and Mr. Elsey invited him to come over immediately, and he walked the distance from the old State over to the White House. A cold, brilliant day, the sun was shining, but the wind was very cold. He

 

[19]

was about half way there and the thought came to him, "Am I being a fool?" And he almost paused and thought -- he may have, he said, "No, I'm doing the right thing," and went forward.

When Mr. Elsey heard his ideas he was highly receptive and Ben returned to his office in the State Department.

MCKINZIE: Do you know whether he told Francis Russell?

LITTLE: He did not. He did not tell Russell. I told Francis Russell myself, when Francis Russell came to call on me after Ben's death. Francis Russell said that he had not known about it, he had never known about it until I told him.

It occurred this way. Ben told Mr. Elsey he'd like his coming to be kept in confidence, because he was going over the head of the authorities in the Department of State. And as many people have been happy to say (this is meaning now), that he was way down on the staff of the Department of State -- and he was, because he was assistant to the Director of the Public Affairs Office -- and he was the writer and fast becoming a professional

 

[20]

speech writer, but he had no intention, that was not what he had planned to do with his life. But he asked that his name not be mentioned and Mr. (Clark M. ) Clifford telephoned Francis Russell and said, "We would like to see that first draft that Mr.....what's his name...?

And he said, "Ben Hardy."

He said, "Yes, Ben Hardy, wrote. "We would like to see that first draft that was written." And Russell sent it to the White House, and then he (Clifford) telephoned and said, "That's what we're looking for."

MCKINZIE: So Francis Russell believed that the White House of its own initiative asked for Ben Hardy's paper.

LITTLE: Yes. And that was what Ben intended to happen. He wanted to protect the idea mainly because, as someone way down on the pole forming an instrument on United States government on his own initiative was quite a brazen thing to do, but he did it, because he felt the rightness of the idea, and so it turned out.

So, Mr. Elsey's great kindness in receiving Ben, receiving the idea, passing it on to Mr. Clifford, and

 

[21]

Mr. Clifford to the President It was all in the chain of events that had to happen, just as it happened. I'm sure of that.

MCKINZIE : What then transpired after Mr. Elsey had the memorandum? Did Benjamin Hardy work at all on the inaugural speech, was he consulted more by the White House?

LITTLE: Absolutely not, but they used his speech. Then Time and Life and Newsweek and all of the rest of the magazines, and Drew Pearson -- I don't know who else -- wrote reams of paper about how the staff, the various people, had worked on it. But there were the words that Ben Hardy had written in that original draft, and they are still there.

MCKINZIE: Did he, at the time, find it amusing that very many people claimed to have been the author of the Point 4 Program.

LITTLE: Oh, yes, very much amused. The president of General Electric, whose name was Charles Wilson (it's interesting but the General Motors president was Charles Wilson too),

 

[22]

said that it was his idea, and he announced it very firmly the next day that it was his idea solely, And the editor of the Christian Science Monitor had a big spread that it was his idea. He had flown around the world as the seat partner of Francis Russell and they had discussed the problems of the underdeveloped world. And by the way, I had quite a set-to with that gentleman and he offered very kindly to give him all the publicity that he could give; and I said, "No," because it was not mine to give. The idea needed the protection of anonymity because if the Congress had known that Ben Hardy had evolved that concept and handed it to the President they would never have voted the foreign aid, Do you see that?

MCKINZIE: Yes.

LITTLE: It was a very exciting time! I remember the newscasters asking people about how they had conceived of the stuff, and it being on the air, and it was very interesting.

MCKINZIE: But he consciously refrained from making public statements?

LITTLE: Of course, he did. On the Sunday after the inauguration the Washington Post had a lead story by Ferdinand Kuhn,

 

[23]

whose wife was in the same office with Ben, in which he stated that the Point 4 concept was the work of Benjamin Hardy in the Department of State, as simply as that.

Ben was amused at so many claiming authorship for it, but he was really terribly grateful that the concept was in the hands of the President and was going to be put into law and help the people of the world. That was his motive, that was his goal, not to bring glory on Ben Hardy, because he thought it was a fine idea. He never had that kind of thought about claiming credit for the program at all.

As his wife I was often tempted to pick up the phone and say to Drew Pearson, "Drew Pearson," but I didn't, I respected his wishes. And it was not until the Point 4 Program, the AID program had been passed by Congress, and become law, and Ben had been made public affairs officer for the Point 4 Program that I began to feel unhappy that all of these people were still claiming that they had authored Point 4. So I decided to write a note to an old friend of Ben's who was editor of the Atlanta

 

[24]

Journal telling him that Ben had authored the program, and everybody was claiming it, and I was unhappy about it. I thought Ben ought to have some credit. And I made a very unfortunate statement, I said, "While he's alive," because I had never had any feeling that Ben wouldn't be alive forever. "And please don't write to me," I said to this chap, I said, "Please don't answer my letter, I just want you to know."

And in less than 48 hours, the head of the Atlanta Journal's bureau in Washington telephoned Ben and said he would like to see him. So he went to see him, and Ben wouldn't give him any information, absolutely nothing! He talked with other people in the State Department and somebody told him to go see Mr. Elsey. He went to see Mr. Elsey, and Mr. Elsey said, "Yes," he and Ben Hardy had together conceived the idea. And that was the spread in the Atlanta Journal, which I have, and many other southern newspapers where we have friends and relatives. All of them were very interested and happy to see that Ben was getting somewhere with ideas.

MCKINZIE: This was published...

 

[25]

LITTLE: While Ben was alive. After that he began to have all kinds of honors. From the Washington area everything was very still, very quiet, nothing about Ben Hardy in Washington; but in other parts of the country.

MCKTNZIE: Might you relate what happened between the time of the inauguration and the time the Technical Cooperation Administration was actually founded. That was over a year later.

LITTLE: Yes. He was working in the Department of State with committees who were formulating plans, throwing out ideas of all sorts as to how a program of this sort could be pulled together and how to really administer a program such as foreign aid would involve.

MCKINZIE: He worked with Mr. (Willard) Thorp?

LITTLE: Mr. Thorp. After the President's speech Mr. Thorp and some people he was working with had a meeting. Francis Russell introduced (he said he would like to introduce the author of the Point 4 concept) Benjamin Hardy. And Mr. Thorp stood up and said, "I beg to

 

[26]

disagree, he is not the author if it, a man on my staff is." You see, the idea was flowing around. The President of General Electric, and the editor of the Monitor; the President, the President had been thinking about helping the world for years, that's why he was so readily accepting the idea. But Mr. Thorp stood up and took issue with Francis Russell, and Ben stood up and said, "I'm not here to gather the recognition for authoring the Point 4 Program, I am here to see how we can administer the concept and make it into a viable instrument." Or words to that effect.

So, that was all that was said at that meeting. There is a historian who was in the State Department, his name is Louis Halle, who has written in a history book a very contemptuous account of Ben Hardy's participation in this. He said that attributing authorship to Ben Hardy was a perfect example of how erroneous authorship is attached to early ventures, early programs, and so forth.

Immediately after this book came out Mr. Francis Russell wrote an article in the Foreign Service Quarterly;

 

[27]

April 1969 it was too late to confront Halle personally, but Russell's was a rebuttal to Halle's statement in which he says that Ben Hardy did not do it. Mr. Halle has really condemned himself because he is a victim of his own concept of how errors are committed. It's very unfortunate for him to have done that.

My son, a graduate student at the University of Chicago, was introduced to a gentleman at the University of Chicago, candidate for a doctorate in history, about six weeks ago, and the young man said to him, "Are you the Ben Hardy that Louis Halle mentions in his book?"

And Ben said, "I am his son and his whole report is a lie, is a pack of lies." He said, "I would like to see you some time and show you these things."

As far as I know that was the end of the thing, but my son was quite unhappy that this concept has reached into the academic halls. It's unfortunate. Ben is a graduate of the University of Virginia and Mr. Halle, I think, taught there. He regretted very much that this man has mesmerized himself in writing this thing. (Society of Man)

 

[28]

The staff meetings of which Halle writes are a nebulous thing with me. I was being refreshed by information daily, but it didn't impress me somehow. I may have had family activities that diverted my attention, but I do know that when something big was going on I was always informed about it.

MCKINZIE: Did you have the feeling that Mr. Hardy was pleased with the way things were going, or did it seem to be taking too long? There is some indication that at some point he was a little upset that nothing was moving very fast.

LITTLE: Well, I'm sure he had all kinds of ups and downs mentally and spiritually about this development, but he was confident that the idea would come to fruition and that the ways and means would have to emerge one way or another. I feel that the program, which may be in a low state at the present time because of Mr. Nixon's feeling about the program, is not a bad thing at all, but that within 75 years there's going to be, well, I called it a renaissance, it may not be the

 

[29]

right word at all, but a rebirth in the entire world through this Point 4 concept. It's bound to come. How it will be called, who will do it, who the President will be, but it's going to unfold. I call it a fine idea.

MCKINZIE: Did Mr. Hardy go directly to Henry Bennett who was the first administrator of that program, or did Mr. Bennett come to Benjamin Hardy?

LITTLE: Well, Mr. Bennett was appointed by the President. They (the President (Truman) and Bennett) had known each other in the Central States and Ben and Dr. Bennett got along beautifully, from the very first minute. They were confident; they were working together; there was never anything cross between them, they were working for the same goals.

MCKINZIE: Do you remember how they happened to meet?

LITTLE: No. I was in the Bennetts' company a number of times. I'm a painter of sorts and there was one thing Dr. Bennett urged me to do beyond a normal painting. He

 

[30]

urged me to do a portrait of my husband, and I did -- which is an interesting thing in view of both of them being killed in the same crash. But Ben was always confident that he and Dr. Bennett were working on the right road.

MCKINZIE: I noticed that on every overseas trip that Dr. Bennett took, Mr. Hardy went with him.

LITTLE: Yes.

MCKINZIE: Did he move directly then into what amounted to a kind of key position? He was director of public affairs...

LITTLE: Yes. Well, when Dr. Bennett came in he became chairman of the planning board for foreign aid. If my memory is correct that is the right title. He was chairman of the planning board for Point 4 (but I have noticed the State Department does not include this title in the records on Benjamin Hardy.) And he and Dr. Bennett consulted on everything, they were a pair. Ben was much younger, he was 42 when he wrote the inaugural address, and when he was killed he was 45,

 

[31]

that was three years later, and he had great dreams for developing the backward nations.

MCKINZIE: Did you ever hear him comment upon whether he was satisfied, let's say in 1951, about how things were going? Could he see that his ideas had been translated in action and, if so, satisfactorily?

LITTLE: Well, on his travels overseas he went with Dr. Bennett on all of his trips, and he usually wrote me very thorough accounts of his visits with people, what the people, the nations, the representatives were doing and how he thought the program was evolving. Some if it was most cheerful and some of it was depressed: "These people don't have the idea."

On his last trip he wrote me every day, and I had a pretty wonderful account of the Middle East. A lot of political things are in that that I don't feel I should ever do anything about, but I think he was quite satisfied. So far, so good. I don't recall any critical analyses of Dr. Bennett's efforts.

He was very much impressed with Mrs. Bennett. Mrs.

 

[32]

Bennett was very quiet and Dr. Bennett was so full of himself. Once they went to a certain South American country. When the plane touched down there was a nice group of people, about 50 from the Embassy waiting to greet them, and over on the other side was a contingent of about 3 or 400 people and they were waiting for Mrs. Bennett. She had been in the Baptist mission and the Baptists in that country had assembled (it may have been La Paz or Bogota, I don't recall); but here they were shouting, "Mrs. Bennett, Mrs. Bennett!" and greeted her, and he was very much impressed with that.

I thought that was wonderful. There were 50 people to greet Dr. Bennett and several hundred for Mrs. Bennett. I felt that she was a very gifted woman, a very quiet, not what you would call a liberated woman in the outward sense, but in the inward sense definitely yes.

MCKINZIE: Did you ever hear Mr. Hardy speak of Stanley Andrews who later became the Point 4 administrator?

LITTLE: No, I don't recall him ever mentioning Mr. Andrews. I met Mr. Andrews at a luncheon recently at the International

 

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Club and I was just delighted with him, he's a wonderful gentleman. I asked him, if he had known Ben Hardy and he said, "Yes indeed." Colonel Andrews said, "Yes, I knew Ben Hardy, I knew him well. I knew him before he got into the Point 4 thing, and I must tell you (this was interesting), I have never known anybody who could handle men any better than he did. He'd just get people to do what he wanted them to do and what needed to be done." But Ben was not an administrator, but he may have been growing into an administrator's position through his experience. He had been a writer. But I enjoyed Colonel Andrews very much. He seemed to be one of a kind, definitely a man of character, and joy, and appreciation of everything good.

MCKINZIE: I'm sure you must be able to take some satisfaction now in the knowledge that much of the origins of Point 4 are being straightened out and that Benjamin Hardy is going to be recognized as the man who had the idea, and who took the initiative of getting the idea translated into action.

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