FEBRUARY 11, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—The cry in the Russian newspapers, stating that the reaction in this country to Premier Stalin's offer to meet President Truman anywhere in the Soviet Union to talk about peace means that we are preparing for war, is very much what we might have expected. This refusal to meet on Russian terms and at the place they indicate is proof positive to the Soviet Union that we are hatching a war against them.
This is ridiculous. Even if we assume the Russians know very little about world conditions, it is difficult to understand how they can make themselves believe that one nation can persuade all the other nations to let her prepare for war. As a matter of fact, it would offend the whole community of nations, which is gradually coming together in closer understanding, if there were the slightest idea that the United States contemplated an aggressive war at any time.
Most of the nations of the world hasten to tell their own people and to impress on their military chiefs the fact that they do not want war.
I will not deny that the portion of the national budget that goes for defense in this country is quite appalling. And I would be very happy for the day soon to dawn when budgets all over the world can be reduced and the money now spent on preparation for war and defense turned to preparation for better living conditions for all peoples. But that day will not come until the Soviet Union is willing to meet us half way and accept certain essential safeguards that alone can ensure a peace.
I am very much interested in seeing the tremendous growth of our community both as it extends out of Poughkeepsie and in the Village of Hyde Park. Little houses have gone up at an astonishing rate and most of them are sold before they are completely built.
I was told today that the average rate of increase in the Village of Hyde Park is one family per week. These newcomers to our part of the state must be young married people, for the houses are all small, and when you compare them with some of the old farmhouses they seem like little boxes. Each one, however, gradually takes on a character of its own, depending on how the owner landscapes and develops his little bit of ground.
Before long I think a new water supply and a new school, or an addition to the present one, will be pressing needs, and this concerns the taxpayers.
I wish the taxpayer would give a little thought, however, to the recreational needs of the teenage group in a community that is changing from a village to a small town. There is so little organized recreation for the young people that I feel this is one of the most pressing needs in our locality. This condition must be the same in a great many other communities, and it is one that the authorities and developers in these areas must study and provide the proper facilities.