My dear Ina & Boys,
Yesterday morning we had an air raid drill in the agricultural buildings, which amounted to a concentration of the personnel on certain floors at designated places. There was nothing exciting about it, but some of them seemed to like the idea of being wardens or First Aid people.
Mr. Hall phoned that his neighbor was a secretary to Congressman Sikes & asked if I would join them at noon. We had lunch in the Capitol Bldg. with the Congressman and Mr. Terry Lee the secretary who lives at Marianna. It was a sociable visit with some discussion of the dog fly control work. The Congressman asked if anyone objected to the use of creosote, and I told him that they did not make it known to me. We heard of one unfavorable comment which anticipated the use of creosote but that none was used on such premises. Also told him of the Park Supt. at Santa Rosa who wanted to know if shore birds walking on treated grass would be burned. Mr. Sikes said that not a single complaint had been received by his office, and that he had heard favorable comments on the work. They expect to get a project through for the Bureau.*
Most every research division is to get a cut, except Man & Animals. Prof. Harned expects to be reduced from $145,000 to $120,000. There is much uneasiness in the Bureau. Rumors float about on moving the whole Bureau to Kansas City or somewhere else. They have no instructions to move, but may get them. From what I can hear, Annand is making a lot of changes and they are coming gradually but fast enough to put things on edge. Different ones have told me that my standing was ace high now, with no comments on what it has been. They expect Mr. G to be shorn of most of his projects but do not say in what way. I’ve seen Bish a few times and I’ve never seen him as worried looking as at present.
There is some good news on retirements. Anyone can retire before he is 55 if he has had 15 years service, but will not draw any retirement money until he reaches 55. Then he can get 15/30 of 70% of his regular rate of pay at the time he quits. The rate increases with years of service and one must retire at 62. Dr. B is about 60, so that he could not be in longer than 2 more years. I would expect King Parman and Laake to retire within a couple of years, though I am not certain of their ages.
There will be a memo on the subject of retirement before long & it should give all of the information we want. Until then we have this to think about, and I think it is OK.
With lots of love to all of you.
* Remember, this was a project that involved spraying thousands of gallons of oil and creosote over the beaches near Pensacola. Priorities were different in 1942.