TO GEORGE W. LANE
Washington, January 30, 1919
My dear George,— ... The one thing that bothers us here is the problem of unemployment. We have not, of course, had time to turn around and develop any plan for reconstruction. Our whole war machine went to pieces in a night. Everybody who was doing war work dropped his job with the thought of Paris in his mind, with the result that everything has come down with a crash, in the way of production, but nothing in the way of wages or living costs. Wages cannot go down until the cost of living does, and production won’t increase while people believe prices will be lower later on. I to-day proposed to Secretary Glass that he enter upon a campaign to promote production, (1) by seeing what the Government could buy, (2) by seeing what the industries would take as a bottom price, (3) by getting the Food Administration at work to reduce prices. Perhaps it may do some good. ...
I have always thought the President was right in going across, and I believe that he will pull through a League of Nations. When I get a copy of it I will send you my speech on this subject, which is rather loose but is a plea for dreams.
Ned is going West to. work for Doheny in some oil field, starting at the bottom. I rather think this is right, but of course he won’t stay as a laborer very long. The boy is fine and gay, and did splendid work, and is anxious to get into the game and make money. Just where he gets this desire for making money I don’t know. Certainly I never had it. But he was telling me the other day of his hope that by forty he would have made enough money to retire. I told him you were the only fellow I ever knew who had actually retired, and you had only done it half way. He will report at Los Angeles, but I expect he will get up to see you as soon as he can. He has a remarkable affection for California, considering he has seen so little of it, and so has Nancy. They both regard it as the golden land where all things smile, and people have hearts. I have not attempted to cure them of their illusion.
Do write me a good, long letter, for I am always eager to hear from you.
F. K. L.
Washington, May 1, 
My dear George,—Well, what do you think of the Italian situation? I think the President right, that Fiume should not go to Italy. Certainly she has no moral claim, for by the Pact of London, Fiume was to go to Croatia. Orlando says that he is answering the call of the Italians in exile. Let them stay in exile, I say. They went into a foreign land to make money and now they wish to annex the land they are visiting, to the home country. How would we like it if the Chinese swamped San Francisco and then asked to be annexed to China? This is carrying the Fiume idea to its ultimate, a ridiculous ultimate, of course, as most ultimates are.