Letter: Truman's legacy

Sir: I was surprised to read Reggie Nadelson's article (10 September) criticising President Bush's claim to Truman's legacy in the light of Republican attacks on unions.

Could this be the same Harry S. Truman who announced in May 1946 that he would draft striking rail workers in order that they might be court-martialled if they continued to misbehave? Truman responded to further labour unrest by drafting a speech lambasting strikers and their 'demagog (sic) leaders' for 'living in luxury, working when they pleased'.

The speech ended with the memorable exhortation: 'Let's hang a few traitors, and make our country safe for democracy.' Perhaps President Bush's claims cannot be discounted after all.

Yours faithfully,

STEPHEN WEBB

London, N1

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