DECEMBER 5, 1955
HYDE PARK—On Thursday I went to Baltimore by an early plane, leaving the house at a little after 7 o'clock, to speak at a morning meeting and a luncheon. I returned by an afternoon plane.
In the evening I had the pleasure of hearing the Budapest String Quartet play the first concert in their Mozart series at the Metropolitan Museum. They were joined by their guest, Carlton Cooley, in a performance of the String Quintet in G Minor, a work new to me and one which I enjoyed very much. The performers of this group are of course finished artists, and I was sorry when the evening ended.
The musical world is beginning to celebrate Mozart's 200th anniversary, which occurs next January, a little ahead of time. The celebration will run all through the concert season, and I am afraid that before it is over we may be a little weary of this particular music. Mozart was of course one of the world's immortal composers, but indiscriminate performances by the wholesale are perhaps not the most effective way to pay him homage.
The other day I received a copy of a letter addressed to Secretary Benson which I think may interest my readers. It reads:
"In India there is a man named Binoba Bhabe who has been traveling through his land and saying to the landholders: 'Count me as one of your sons and give to me one son's share of your land.' I am sure you have heard of him. Thousands of acres of land have been made available to the poverty-ridden people through his efforts.
"Why, in this land of plenty, can we not say to the farmers: 'Raise this acre of food for the starving children of the world and give it to them.'
"Why can we not say to the transportation and marketing groups: 'Handle this portion free as your contribution to the starving people of the world.'
"There are so many organizations who are trying to do just this, but they are hampered by lack of money and cooperation with each other. If they could get together perhaps some plan could be worked out.
"In this hour of great need perhaps a plan could be devised through some department of the United Nations, or if not there, through a new organization, whereby some of our surplus could be used instead of spoiling in warehouses.
"Then the farmers would prosper again."
The suggestion contained in this letter of course has many practical limitations, because it requires a good deal more organization than the lady who wrote it seems to realize. Nevertheless the idea is one we should all bear in mind. If all of us were ready to do our part, perhaps the organization would not seem such a terrific undertaking to our government.