SEPTEMBER 22, 1951
NEW YORK, Friday—Among New York's many hospitals, the Jewish Sanitarium and Hospital for Chronic Diseases in Brooklyn has been singled out for attention. The week beginning Sunday, September 23, has been designated as its "week."
One reason for this honor is that in a city so large as New York, there is need to focus the attention of the people on the growing number of sufferers from chronic diseases. In the whole United States some 26,000,000 men, women and children have to receive care for chronic ailments and the diseases include cancer, arthritis, diabetes, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, cerebral palsy, polio and heart ailments.
On the whole, it is thought that these chronic diseases constitute one of America's most pressing problems. No cures are known for many of them. In the profession there is always a feeling of urgency for more research. We just have not found the cures and we must keep pressing until we do.
I hope, therefore, that during next week people will be reminded of this serious problem, which has to be faced by all of us, and will pledge their support to help in whatever way they can.
Let us now turn to an international problem that was brought to the attention of the United Nations by J. Donald Kingsley, who is now the director-general of the relief work in Korea but who has been director-general of the International Relief Organization.
Mr. Kingsley says that when the IRO closes its books at the end of this year there will be groups of refugees who will not have been resettled for one reason or another, and they will be in need of material assistance. Legal protection is furnished by the office of the High Commissioner for Refugees. These people are isolated groups found in Shanghai, the Middle East, Italy, Austria, and other areas.
It has been suggested that these refugees might be of particular interest to those refugees who are now resettled in other countries throughout the world, and an idea has been put forward that a day should be designated for them—such as "Remember Refugees Day." The resettled refugees in all countries could take particular responsibility for this day, devising ways of appealing to the public and raising money which could be devoted to those refugees still in need of material aid.
I saw in the paper today that Norway had agreed to take one hundred tubercular refugees and I know that other countries have taken blind and maimed people.
The Office of the High Commission for Refugees is given considerable power to negotiate with the countries and about the conditions under which refugees are admitted to a country and can obtain work and live in that country. No money, however, was appropriated for material relief, and the High Commissioner will be faced with many difficult situations because without any question many of the people who will appeal for protection will need both legal and material protection.
On Thursday I spoke before the FDR Young Democrats, a student club at City College here. And I was amused to be told that there were a great many students who refuse to join a political club, arguing that they did not want to have any political affiliations for fear of what Senator McCarthy might say.