FEBRUARY 26, 1949
CHICAGO, Friday—Most important item in the news yesterday morning, because it is a sign in the direction of peace, was the agreement between Egypt and Israel. The armistice at last is accepted and now negotiations can go forward with the other Arab states in the hope of reaching a successful conclusion.
For Israel this is recognition in quarters which are of vast importance, for it means that their neighbors are accepting them as a state. For the rest of the world it means stabilization and peace in the Near East, an opportunity to turn to other concerns—economic and political—and begin an era of constructive development. To Dr. Ralph Bunche, the acting mediator, who has brought this about, should go the thanks not only of the parties immediately concerned, but of all the rest of us who are searching for peace and a final settlement of our difficulties.
I started out yesterday afternoon on a lecture trip which begins here in Chicago today. All my lectures are on the subject of the United Nations or the Declaration of Human Rights. After a few days in Chicago I will be primarily in northwestern Canada.
It is a long time since I have been on a regularly planned lecture tour, and I am a little doubtful as to my ability to handle the many engagements that appear on the paper before me. I hope, though, that since it will be only for three weeks, I will be able to meet all the requirements!
I have two speaking engagements today—at the Executives Club of Chicago and the Phi Beta Kappa dinner—plus a press conference. Tomorrow is a day on which I can do a number of personal things which I have long wanted to do here, and I will tell you about those later on.
I am a little amused by the appointment of a committee by Rep. Joseph W. Martin, House Republican leader, to study conditions in storm-swept Western and Southwestern states. He has named six Republicans and says that they will make a special-on-the-scene investigation of conditions in blizzard areas and among the Navajo Indians and adds that reports reaching him on conditions among the Indians are "disgraceful."
I should like to point out to Representative Martin that these conditions are not entirely caused by the blizzard. Conditions have been "disgraceful" in some places and poor or slightly better in others for a long time. The Indian Bureau has often asked for bare necessities by way of appropriations to do what is essential in improving the lot of the Indians, who are wards of the government, but Congress has never been very generous.
The Indians don't vote in large part and that may be the reason why, whether Congress is Democratic or Republican, the Indians get scant attention.
I shall be delighted if Representative Martin takes a real interest in bettering their lot, not only as it was affected by the blizzards, but as it is affected year by year by meager appropriations.