JULY 31, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I was back in New York City on Thursday morning and went from there to my friend, Miss Esther Lape in Westbrook, Connecticut, to have a quiet day before speaking on Friday evening at the Democratic State Convention.
Thursday evening Governor Bowles sent me the state Democratic platform. It is a long document that seemed almost more suited to the national Democratic platform, and even then I would have thought it somewhat long. It was very interesting and well done, however, covering all the points that really make a difference in the lives of the people of a state, and it tied this well-being into the national and international picture. The Governor told me that the platform had been published in the papers, bit by bit as it was written, and the people would come to know it. Still, it seems to me that it would be well to have it condensed. I am convinced that few people will take the time to read so many pages even when those pages deal with matters that touch their daily lives!
I am so unaccustomed to speaking before a purely political gathering nowadays that I was very nervous. But it was an enthusiastic crowd and I was interested in the fact that a group of foreign students, who are over here for a visit, were invited to this convention to see how our state democratic government functions.
It is impossible today to separate what is happening in our own country from what is happening abroad. As one talks to the young women one senses a new and heightened interest in the political activities of their husbands, but at the same time a broadened interest because of the realization that, unless there can be peace in the world, many of the things they hope for can not be accomplished. It will be a tragic thing if the defense effort is made an excuse for setting aside many of the necessary reforms and activities essential to progress within our own nation.
I was extremely interested in Bernard Baruch's testimony before a Congressional committee, and I think that one of the points that needs to be emphasized today is that there should be greater coordination of effort. Unless someone of experience watches the whole picture we will find different groups within our government competing with each other, and that will carry through into our economic effort. There is a need for very careful planning in the military effort and keeping the balance so that our economic picture does not get out of joint. Timing is important, too, and foresight and imagination.
Everyone I meet wonders what has suddenly decided the USSR to return to its position on the Security Council on the first of August. Some people say there is no good purpose behind this return. Others hope it means that the Politburo has seen the light and decided to cooperate for peace. Time will tell and, like so many other things, we may guess; but we may not know, and we will have to possess our souls in patience and be prepared for any eventuality.