MARCH 22, 1949
HYDE PARK, Monday—Judging from the reports in the newspapers there really is a good deal of pressure from special interest groups against rent control. It would seem to any sensible person, knowing of the difficulty people still have in finding places to live within their budget, that to remove rent control would be disastrous until more building had taken place. Building is going on in many parts of the country, but the needs are far from being met as yet.
I can see that the small property owner, who finds government forms bewildering to fill out, may have had a very hard time in getting a fair hearing on his complaints. He wants to be able to keep up his property, manage it well, and still retain a fair profit on his investment. That seems to me a problem to be handled by tightening up some of the machinery which has not dealt wisely with complaints that have been brought in, or which has been negligent in making investigations, or, even where necessary, in helping the property owner to get a fair deal.
Wiping out the rent controls is not the solution and should not be permitted as yet.
It was announced yesterday that Soviet Russia will call upon the United Nations at its next session to reject the North Atlantic pact on the grounds that it is not a regional grouping of countries, organized under Articles 51 and 52 of the Charter.
It is unfortunate, it seems to me, that Russia emphasizes now its fear of aggression. It is quite true that the accumulation of states that they now control along their own borders is, from the geographical point of view, a more compact group. But the nations forming the North Atlantic Pact have geographical control and their agreement is among free, democratic nations. Within those nations, except for Communist representatives themselves, there is no coercion from any outside source as to what their policies must be.
It has always amused me that there should be such complete unanimity in voting on every subject by the Soviet Union, Ukraine, Byelorussia, Poland, Czechoslovakia and Yugoslavia. Differences of opinion arise among the nations which form independent parts of the British Empire. Differences of opinion arise between the United States and other nations in the same geographical area or in contiguous areas. Yet, they never seem to arise among the states in the Soviet group.
I have been told that the reason there is only one political party in Russia is because there is such complete agreement as to principles and objectives among all the people. Nevertheless, human beings who are under no coercive influence are apt to have slight differences on all kinds of questions. When you cogitate for a moment you cannot help feeling that the Communist decisions must be arrived at by some form of centralized power.