DECEMBER 19, 1946
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It was interesting to see in the paper that the usual tactics employed by the Eastern European group to prevent decisive action were used yesterday by Andrei Y. Gromyko, the delegate from the USSR, to prevent acceptance of the United States plan for the control of atomic energy. To be sure, the vote on the question was put off only until Friday. But when one knows how rapidly the Russians concentrate on work when they really mean to do it, one wonders why a plan which they have had in their hands since Dec. 5th needed more study. Either they have not heard from Moscow, or else Moscow has not made up its mind.
It sounds so familiar to read that Mr. Gromyko cautioned against "rushing along." The point is that there must come a time for decision, and one wonders whether that will be on Friday or whether further reasons for delay will be put forward.
The United States plan is very simple. It treats all nations alike. Big and little nations will be on the same level. The power over atomic energy will be vested in an international authority. As this is the essential first step which must be taken before any other steps can have any meaning, those of us who hope to see the world actually move towards disarmament will watch with great interest what happens on Friday.
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We have been hearing for a long time about the shortage of nurses. And much has been said about the use of the practical nurse as opposed to the registered nurse where care not requiring such long and careful training will accomplish good results for the patient. Many explanations have been given as to why young women are no longer going into the nursing field, and suggestions have been made to make it more attractive.
Now there is a great clamor over the fact that both men and women are going out of the teaching profession. In an article which I read yesterday, it was said that teachers are leaving the public schools by the thousands and that low pay is one of the chief reasons for their desertion. In fact, there are fewer teachers this year than during the war years.
I don't doubt that salaries have a good deal to do with this question, because salaries have been grossly inadequate, but there must be something more. Perhaps, as a people, we haven't recognized the importance of teachers, and we haven't made them feel that their job is probably the most important in the country. The future of the country depends on their ability to impart knowledge and to interest their students.
Above everything else, the character of the next generation is being molded by them. Therefore, the character of the country as a whole is being decided in our classrooms by people who are underpaid, who are not universally given a place of honor in the community, and who are often very poorly prepared for the very exacting work which they are doing.
These two professions—teaching and nursing—need recruits. But they need the best recruits we can find. How are we going to get them?