AUGUST 10, 1953
HYDE PARK, Sunday—There is one very good piece of news that will lighten the burden of many hearts in the evening paper, namely the record of the cures of TB patients. You read how many of our prisoners of war were coming back with TB, some of them very seriously ill? Your heart probably stood still, but tonight there is a story of a study made of tuberculosis patients in the Army's largest TB hospital in Denver. Out of 400 patients, some of whom were severe cases, 96 percent are now said to be recovered. That holds out hope for all those who have come out on stretchers or with the dread disease hanging over them.
I was interested to be told by a man I happened to meet on the street that he'd been in and around New York City for 30 years but he had never seen a worse summer for his business. He was a small businessman and he said business was very slow and there were more empty stores in his neighborhood than he had seen in a long time.
"I thought," said he, "that when the Republicans got in, we people in business would be sitting pretty but instead I have more headaches than I ever had during the last 10 years."
This is interesting because there is much talk, I am told, of how valuable a "small recession" would be. They say apparently it would bring prices down and that wages would be lowered and altogether the businessman would find it of benefit. I had not taken this talk very seriously till I heard the report of my little shopkeeper in New York.
The big industries would undoubtedly profit by a little depression. They can stand up under this situation better than anyone else, but the little businessman would find it hard to take and if it should become just a little more than is now planned the countries of Europe would begin to feel it. And though many of their economies are stronger today than they were 12 months ago, even a very "little depression" over there would be more than they could weather. The Republican Administration had better walk carefully. These little depressions have a way of getting out of hand.
It is interesting that Senator Tobey has left a report recommending a full scale investigation of the treatment and research work done on cancer. One can only hope that Senator Bricker, in spite of his natural leanings toward the American Medical Association, will consider this legacy as something he must carry out. It would be wonderful if the Government were really to help in the fight against cancer and some of the other dread diseases that take such a heavy toll every year.
President Eisenhower has certainly made a wise choice in choosing Bernard Baruch, the United States' most outstanding elder statesman, to be chairman of the commission that will supervise the reconversion of the Government's synthetic rubber plants. Mr. Baruch probably knows more about the whole history of the development and the experiment in making synthetic rubber than almost anyone else in the country. I do not really know whether it is wise at a time when we aren't very sure how firm a peace exists in the world to give up these plants, but if they are sold Mr. Baruch will see that the Government gets the most out of the deal that can be salvaged.
I spent some time in the office of the American Association for the United Nations Thursday, but truthfully, I am still running around doing errands and catching up on the mail which I am still far from having completed.