FEBRUARY 11, 1953
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I returned yesterday to a tradition, which I had to break last year because I was in Paris, and from 10:30 to 3:00 I spent with the women who work for and give to the United Jewish Appeal.
This year the story of the UJA was dramatically presented. Dr. Ruth Gruber was the narrator and the background setting was a map of the world that moved to the area being discussed. In turn was shown the G.I. home from Japan; a girl whose family had come here and had been established a few years ago and who now is president of the freshman class at Barnard; an American woman who has lived with her husband in Israel since World War I; and a woman, who is a lawyer from Morocco and who has done outstanding work for the refugees and for the Jewish population, told the stories of what one organization or another have been able to do in their particular area because of the money made available by the UJA.
This part of the program was really very moving, as anything is that is translated into human terms.
Many people will be glad to know that Secretary of State John Foster Dulles is safely home from his trip to Europe and that he gave the press permission to interpret his statement "as meaning I am mildly optimistic about the situation."
It must indeed have been sad for the Secretary to see the devastation that the raging seas have brought about in Holland, in Belgium and in England. I have been very much gratified to find that wherever I have been the past few days collections are being made to send clothes and money overseas. These are going to Holland particularly, since most people feel that that country has been hardest hit because the land will have to be reclaimed over again.
Printed in last evening's newspaper was a list of 11 subjects that the Administration is suggesting as "must" legislation for the present Congress. Some of the items will cause considerable argument, I imagine. For instance, there is the reorganization of the executive departments. When you get to the point of really reorganizing you always have to step on so many toes and there are bound to be howls up and down the Congressional corridors.
Item No. 3 is statehood for Hawaii, but I would have been happy to see Alaska included. I cannot help feeling that Alaska has become a very important part of our defense and, therefore, should be given the advantage of being an integral part of the country.
One of the most important points, No. 4, the amendment of the Taft-Hartley Act, none of us can have much to say about until we know what the amendments actually are and whether they will meet the objections of the people who have felt the Taft-Hartley law has been unfair to labor.
Point No. 6 I would regret to see decided in the way the newspapers indicate, namely, that a change will be made by act of Congress to return control of the offshore oil deposits to the states instead of having them controlled by the Federal government. I feel that for our future safety we should have this in the hands of our Federal government and not our state governments.