AUGUST 26, 1953
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Louis W. Douglas' report made after a study of world trade problems undertaken for President Eisenhower is certainly a significant and interesting document, judging from the newspaper reports. One of the quotes must give some of our businessmen considerable anxiety, though they are hearing from one of their own conservative brethren. Mr. Douglas says, "The barriers that we have raised against imports into the United States have been incompatible with, and have operated against, the reestablishment of international economic and financial health and equilibrium.
"Long ago, we became the world's greatest creditor. We can no longer pursue the protectionist policies of a debtor nation and hope to escape from governmental intervention, restrictionism, state planning and discrimination against American products on the international markets."
Mr. Douglas, of course, served as our Ambassador to London, and some may accuse him of having too much interest in the rehabilitation of the United Kingdom and the sterling block, but it would appear essential to have an increase in trade, since without the recovery of many of the sterling block nations in other parts of the world it is very difficult for our present level of prosperity to continue.
Nowadays, the reaction from the financial situation in one country is quickly felt in other countries. It is obvious that no purely monetary measure can bring about the desired balance. It must be brought about by the relaxation permitting a greater flow of goods than is possible under a system of high tariffs, begun in this country to protect infant industries against the competition of the more settled countries of Europe. That day is long since past and recommendations now made seem to me basic for the future prosperity of our country as well as for the rest of the world.
I was sent from India the other day a rather interesting publication, The Children's Number, which is published once a year by Shankar's Weekly in New Delhi. This has been published yearly since 1949. It is meant to "provide a forum for children in all countries to give expression to their artistic and literary talents." Over 13,000 entries to an international drawing and writing competition were received from children of 35 nations for the 1952 number. The entries were divided into age groups and prizes were awarded for the best in each group.
They write me as follows: "Nearly 200 prizes in all were awarded last year, which included 20 first prizes for each group: a special gold medal for the best drawing in the competition from the President of India, the Rajendra Prasad, and a gold medal for the best writing from the vice-president, Dr. S. Radhakrishnan. The Prime Minister, Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru has also taken keen interest in the Children's Number and has been donating first prizes in his name."
It will be of interest in this country to know that 35 prizes were won by children in America. This seems to me a way in which international goodwill and understanding can be developed among children and, even though it is published only once a year, it can be of interest all the year round, if local competitions in schools could be established in preparation for sending in entries to this Indian competition.