JUNE 10, 1955
NEW YORK—The unusual reception accorded Indian Prime Minister Nehru in Moscow this week would indicate that the people of the Soviet Union welcome any sign of friendship. They feel that Nehru has shown in all his acts a desire for peace, and, whether their own government realizes it or not, it is a lonely situation for people to feel that they are isolated from the rest of the world. A gesture of friendliness must certainly give them great satisfaction. Asia is the part of the world where they hope to find friends, and they are demonstrating this desire, I think, in the warm welcome they have extended to Nehru.
It is rather sad that we have had to put so much emphasis on our military strength in order to deal with the Soviet government. It was inevitable of course, and perhaps the present conciliatory attitude of the Soviet government may be largely due to this policy of building military strength.
Nevertheless, among the people it must have created a feeling that we might become aggressors no matter how much we tried to reassure them by reiterating the fact that we are a peace-loving people.
Obviously, we are, and we in America know it, but when you have great power it is quite natural for people to be a little suspicious as to how you may use it. I fear that this has made it possible for the Soviet government, or at any rate, its people to picture us as wanting to bring about war in the world.
This demonstration for Nehru may be their way of making us understand that as a people anyway, they do not want war no matter what their government may be scheming.
The crisis with the Ford Motor Company being over, now everybody holds their breath to find out whether the General Motors Corporation and the United Automobile Workers Union also will be able to come to an agreement, for a strike in GMC's plants would be as disastrous as a Ford strike, or perhaps more so.
It is quite natural that these new agreements should be viewed with care by the company and an effort made to evaluate what they will mean in the future. This is, of course, a difficult thing to do because the by-products of preserving buying power in large groups of people are difficult to assess.
On the whole of the country, however, keeping up purchasing power during unemployment will have a very decided effect. I suppose many of our economists are already working on these questions and before long we will have some interesting studies of the actual effect of everything that is going on now, for these are new steps that will lead to new situations. Many of us hope that they will safeguard our economy in the future and iron out ups and downs which upset so many people.