FEBRUARY 9, 1955
NEW YORK—We can only hope that the news our newspapers give us on the quiet evacuation of the Tachen Islands remains quiet. The Peking reaction, of course, is that this is provocation to war, but certainly everyone in this country will hope that the quiet that prevailed at the start will continue to prevail.
* * *
France is getting a new premier. Pierre Mendes-France was in longer than anyone I can remember since the war, but I should think the French people would have such a constant feeling of change that no stability could be established. It cannot be a very satisfactory form of government when the President of France furnishes the only stable point in the government. Anyone else may change at any moment. For the President it must be a gruelling performance to be constantly seeking new people to serve in the ever-changing picture.
* * *
There is evidently a new attack going to be made on Olympic National Park. This was drawn to my attention the other day when I was shown the December 17 issue of the "U.S. News and World Report." In the magazine there appeared a two-page advertisement in color by a business organization known as Rayonier, Inc. This corporation is in the cellulose chemistry business, calling itself "enlightened conservationists," and it attacked Olympic National Park.
About a year ago the Governor of Washington received a report from a committee he had appointed which had carefully considered all the aspects of the controversy over dismantling Olympic National Park. This report recommended that it should not be dismantled.
Apparently the report did not please the lumber interests, however, which would like to see this area cut down because it is one of the few regions where really fine timber has come to maturity.
The natural cycle of plant growth, however, calls for the disintegration of old trees into humus for the soil. These natural processes are what the national parks are set aside to protect and perpetuate, and less than one percent of the land surface of our country has been reserved for national parks. Not all of this has merchantable timber on it, so it could not contribute greatly to the economy of any community.
Our national parks should be preserved intact without any commercialization. Communities might well establish community forests and use them commercially, but that should not interfere with the land set aside for national parks.