SEPTEMBER 24, 1953
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I left Hyde Park early Monday morning, 7:30 in fact, with my son, Johnny. This enabled me to go to the apartment before I went downtown to get my hair done and I was on time for the first luncheon we have held in New York to try to acquaint people in New York with the work of the National Issues Committee.
So many strange ideas have grown up about this committee. Some people think it duplicates Americans for Democratic Action. It does nothing of the kind because ADA is a political group which intends to support the best candidates in the field for public office. The NIC does not support any candidates or any political party. It simply works with specialized groups to get out information on important issues such as education, health, power, social security, housing, etc.
We hope to have special committees in charge of these subjects on which experts will serve. We have on our NIC committee members of many of the organizations which specialize in these fields. They get out valuable information but unfortunately it is of a specialized nature and uses the language of the expert in that particular field, which is always difficult for the layman to understand. Therefore, we hope that these committees dealing with people who are familiar with publicity will get out material easy for the layman to read and perhaps in more condensed form than the specialists would feel proper when dealing solely with their own members.
Our first activity is going to be a newsletter which will go to groups as we form them in different communities throughout the country. That will simply be a review of the news of the week with a back page devoted either to a particular region of interest, or to an article written by someone on a piece of news of particular interest to all groups. The rest of the letter will just be the highlights of the news, and I feel it will be a godsend to people who cannot cover all the newspapers.
There were a number of questions asked by people present at our luncheon and I thought the meeting particularly successful because it ended at exactly the time we said we would end. In fact, we were a few minutes ahead of time, and if anybody is familiar with how difficult it is to hold meetings on time, they will not only commend the Commodore Hotel which served a luncheon in record time, 35 minutes, but congratulate everyone of our speakers. They stayed within the space of time allotted to them.
As presiding officer, I think I had the easiest time that any presiding officer has ever had! I was grateful to all those who came and who seemed interested in this problem of getting objective, nonpartisan but liberal information to the people of the nation.