MAY 8, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Let us examine some of the things here at home which, I think, are jeopardizing the world as a whole. We seem to be too weak to make domestic decisions. How, then, are we going to lead in international affairs?
Let me point out some of the things which stare at us from the pages of the newspapers day after day.
We put off deciding what we shall do about conscription. It seems to me it would be fairly simple to accept the fact that there are needs which must be met at the present time, to make a decision to cover the next few years, and then to consider what our permanent policy shall be in the light of new events. But no, we just decide to do nothing for a short time!
The world is starving, and we know that even Fiorello H. La Guardia, UNRRA Director, dynamic as he is, has not been able to get us really to face the problem. Yet we, the people, do not demand to be told what must be done and agree to do it.
We are horrified when Prime Minister Attlee of Great Britain makes an announcement that, if the findings of the Joint Anglo-American Commission which has been studying the question of Palestine are carried out, we must bear our share of responsibility. Yet any one must have known, when the British asked us to undertake a joint inquiry, that they would expect us to do our share in carrying out the findings. We put good men on that commission. If we believe in their findings, we should be willing to back them up.
* * *
We temporize and cannot decide whether or not to pass the British loan. If we wait long enough, the value to us of the use of that money by Great Britain will be far less.
The people seem fairly well aroused on the subject of OPA at present, but they have let it hang in the balance for months and months, until now it is very possible that, even if we succeed in getting Congress to remove the restrictions placed on OPA, it will be too late for OPA to keep the cost of living within bounds.
Anyone must know that the great and important thing is to get into full production. Yet Mr. La Guardia sends a letter in vain to Ezra van Hoit, chairman of the Bituminus Coal Conference, and to John L. Lewis, president of the United Mine Workers, pointing out very clearly the effect of the coal strike on the food situation in Europe.
Many of our people who have relatives in foreign countries know that, when we do not mine coal, the industries and railroads in European countries stop functioning. This affects world recovery, and world recovery in the long run will affect us. This is the broad picture. We can see how this type of selfishness is affecting us in the domestic picture, and yet we do nothing.
We are at a point now where, if we do not get production, wages will mean very little to the average man and woman in this country, because the cost of living cannot be kept down. We, the people, must wake up and do some thinking and make some demands on our Congressional leaders for positive action. Our leaders in business and labor must also wake up.