FEBRUARY 27, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—To the average outsider, what has occurred in Washington between Senator McCarthy and Mr. Stevens of the Army is one of the most depressing things that could happen. Most of us have thought of the Army as a pretty good fighting unit and we were glad to see the Secretary insist that no Army general should be obliged to give up his own interpretation of an order and accept instead the interpretation of Senator McCarthy.
Those of us who read the text of the inquiry marvelled at how low we have come when such type of questioning and scornful and abusive remarks can be made to any witness, much less a well known and honorable member of the Armed Services.
Now the Army will not be the judge of its own act, but Senator McCarthy will be the judge and many people will not happily resign themselves to this situation. We were willing to believe that the Army would take every precaution to safeguard the country, that it would be more alert in all probability than a Congressional committee to the dangers of communism within its ranks.
Mr. Stevens, it appears, has handed over the Army's right to investigate to the Senator and his committee. All free citizens who had been heartened by Mr. Stevens' first decision are stunned. As it has now turned out, everyone will be more frightened than ever to cross Senator McCarthy. They will feel that the Administration is against them and they will not even attempt to preserve our traditional freedoms.
I went up on Thursday to City College to speak on the United Nations before a group of students belonging to various student organizations.
I was glad to find that the students are sending a delegation to the Washington meeting of the American Association for the U.N. where there will be well over 100 different organizations represented. We have been receiving a great many registrations and I think this will be one of the best attended conferences we have had. The theme of the conference is "United States Responsibilty for World Leadership in 1954."
There was a horrible picture in the papers recently showing the ravages brought about by the dust storm in Colorado. The sad part of it is, of course, that these dust storms are caused by unwise conservation practices. Somewhere we have cut down trees and let the water table get too low. This has gone on in the Southwest for four years and long ago measures should have been taken to plant trees and the kind of grass which holds the soil and brings the water back.
Unless we take drastic measures and take them at once, we are going to have an area of our country reduced to a desert which was not supposed to be a desert and should not become one.