NOVEMBER 9, 1955
DETROIT—Even in the papers as far away as Wisconsin there has been very detailed reporting on the Israeli-Arab situation and great anxiety to find out what Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the United Nations, proposed to the two sides in this struggle and if there is any chance of acceptance.
It seems, however, as though matters had now gone too far for any proposal by the Secretary-General to be accepted unless it is nominally backed by strong support from the United States and Great Britain and some assurance is given that they will not permit aggression by either side in this quarrel. The next few days should show some definite developments.
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Turning from international news, one finds considerable attention given in the newspapers in this area to the farm situation. It was real news last Saturday when a Texas farmer offered to give the Secretary of Agriculture, Ezra Taft Benson, his 600 acres of irrigated farm land "if he will make it pay under his sliding-scale program" of farm price supports.
This is a practical test of the Secretary's theories, which it will be difficult to get anyone to carry out, but it is a challenge. Should Mr. Benson resign from office and accept this offer, it might be a chance to demonstrate that his theories are sound ones.
Someone said to me the other day that the whole farm question had now become so complex that it looked as though we would need two policies—one designed to meet the needs of the big farmer whose business is on the same scale of that of a big industrialist and the other to meet the needs of the small farmer who may not want to be a part of a big organization but still wants to preserve his freedom and to live decently.
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I see by the papers here that rain and snow fell in New York toward the end of last week, which looks as though the prophecy in the Farmers' Almanac would again prove to be fairly truthful. The almanac warns us that this will be the coldest winter in 20 years and the most bitter.
Perhaps we have been having it too easy from a climate standpoint in the past few years and we need the invigorating impact of really cold weather to spur us into action on many fronts.
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Mr. and Mrs. Salomon were our hosts in Chicago on Saturday night at the Standard Club, and at Michigan City for the few hours we were there Mr. and Mrs. J.M. Ruby looked after us with the warmest kind of hospitality.
We found a very vigorous chapter of the American Association for the United Nations in Michigan City. They had a dinner of 60 members soon after our arrival and when we were leaving they were optimistically talking of gathering in 500 members in the near future. This would make them, of course, one of the biggest chapters in the country and would entitle them to name a member to the board of governors.
For a small city there seems to be remarkable community spirit in Michigan City. After the evening meeting many people came back to Mr. and Mrs. J. M. Ruby's house, and from the number of questions that people continued to ask me I felt that this was a community of very alive and thinking people.
We caught the night train at 2:20 a.m. and got off Monday morning in Detroit at a quarter before eight. This is going to be a full day in Detroit, where we met here with our field worker, Miss Morton, and I hope to have time to hear some of her reports. I will tell you more of our Detroit and Michigan organizations tomorrow.