SEPTEMBER 30, 1953
NASHVILLE, Tenn., Tuesday—After so much discussion there was final announcement last week of the agreement with Spain. The strategic military objectives that have been argued for so long, it must be presumed, have now won the day. Some of us will not be completely happy that an agreement which gives such financial backing to a Fascist government has had to be entered into.
Many of us have accepted the fact that diplomatic relations must exist the world over with any stable government that remains in power, because one cannot cut off all intercourse with a people whether one disapproves of the type of government which they maintain in power, or not. To build up the strength, however, of a Fascist government is no more agreeable to a democracy than it is to build up the strength of a Communist government. However, we must accept the fact that this has been thought to be essential for the military strength and protection of vital areas of the world.
Our memories are so short that probably many of us have forgotten that the present dictator of Spain came to power with the collaboration of our enemies in Germany and Italy. But just as when a war is over we find it essential to rebuild the country that we have defeated, so we have found this agreement an essential part of our defense. One can only hope that the by-product will be increasing opportunities for the people of Spain to achieve better living conditions.
On Sunday I attended a national board meeting of the Americans for Democratic Action and at luncheon we were joined by some members of the New York City ADA. They have been unable to decide on the backing of any one candidate for mayor of New York and, truth to tell, the decision is not so easy. To my surprise, people whom I respect feel that certain people whom I consider might exert a bad influence on city government really will not exert a bad influence. Other people think that Mayor Impellitteri has had experience that would lead him to be a better mayor in the future.
I am glad I do not vote in New York City, for if I did I would find a decision difficult. I think, however, that after listening to all my friends, and I do believe in their complete sincerity, I still would support Mr. Wagner.
Mr. Halley seems to me somewhat of an opportunist, for according to Monday morning's papers he was not averse to seeking support which in the campaign he will doubtless describe as very dangerous to the city. The truth of the matter, of course, is that the job of being mayor is an extremely difficult one. The city government is very dependent on the attitude of the state government and it is not easy to work out the many difficult financial situations.
It is not a job in which anyone can be completely successful, but I think Mr. Wagner will do an honest job and the best he possibly can and the people of the City of New York must try to understand the problems and continue bringing pressure to bear for the things they feel are essential to the welfare of the people.