AUGUST 14, 1952
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—An interesting experiment, started in 1944, is being made in the towns of Newburgh and Kingston, N.Y., which should be of value to every citizen. Beginning eight years ago, the water used for drinking in Newburgh has had a trace of fluorine added to it, while the Kingston water had not. Records of tooth decay among children were kept and up to the middle of 1952 it was found that children of Newburgh had suffered 47 percent less tooth decay, whereas in Kingston the records show that tooth decay in children has remained on the same level for the past eight years.
This is a careful experiment and the findings cannot be lightly thrust aside. In our nearby city of Poughkeepsie we are so backward about our water system that I doubt whether we will even give a thought to such an experiment. But it seems that some New York State cities of considerable size are going to try this floridation of their water. Buffalo, Rochester, Yonkers and Elmira are now preparing to do so.
New York City has a very large population of children and it might be very valuable to spend the $800,000, which it is estimated this would cost, to help preserve the teeth of its youngsters.
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Fortunately for all of us, the showers we have been having the last few days probably will save some of the crops that would have been completely destroyed if no rain had come. The later plantings may come to our aid and keep prices from skyrocketing.
Apparently Congress does not want to be called in extra session to consider the question of controls. There would be very little use in the President calling a session before Election Day if most of the members in both the Senate and the House would be loath to do anything on controls in this election year. It might be possible to call a session immediately after Election Day—and it may be necessary to do so.
Bernard Baruch has warned for several years that it was vital to have drastic price controls, but so far individual interests have seemed to overrule any hopes of getting anywhere. And there is never much use in the President trying to do something which he is told beforehand will be useless.
After the election is over, however, it may be possible to get something accomplished on this problem, and certainly there is nothing more important to the people than to control inflation and bring down the cost of living.