MARCH 15, 1956
NEW YORK—The news that Margaret Truman is engaged to E. Clifton Daniel Jr. will interest many Americans who have felt the charm of this young girl. She spent some of her maturing years in the White House and, therefore, is of interest to practically every other girl of her age in the country. Good wishes will reach her from all over the nation and we wish her long life and happiness.
Monday night I spoke at a meeting in Kew Gardens. It seemed incredible that, never before having been to Kew Gardens as far as I can remember, I should go there twice on consecutive days!
On Sunday I was there to visit Ralph Bunche and, on Monday, to speak for the Jewish Center.
At the Jewish Center, I was asked to talk about the Four Freedoms, particularly stressing freedom of religion. This is a freedom which, I think, we can feel is fairly well-established in this country, though I still am surprised occasionally at the evidence of religious prejudice which sometimes crops up in our communities. There certainly is less such prejudice today, however, than even 20 years ago.
The Crusade for Freedom is backing a plan initiated by Music Unlimited. It is distributing a song called "Freedom Bell" and asks that everyone who receives it send it on to other people throughout the world.
This is only one of the many ways used to bring to people the realization of the value of freedom, but it may not have a far-reaching effect.
I noticed in the newspaper some discussion of House Bill 5550, which authorizes United States membership in the Organization for Trade Cooperation.
This new organization, created last spring in Geneva by representatives of the U.S. and 34 other governments, is designed to serve as the administrative arm for the general agreement on tariffs and trade known as GATT.
There is a multilateral agreement between the U.S. and other countries under which some 60,000 tariffs have been reduced or prevented from increasing. Our reciprocal trade agreements legislation made us signatories to this agreement, which assures us that the bargains we make with other countries for mutual reduction of tariffs are kept and not nullified by other barriers to trade, such as import quotas or special taxes.
The OTC would not create any new obligations for any country. It simply would provide a small international organization and staff to see that trade agreements are carried out more efficiently and effectively.
Both the President and the leaders of both political parties have endorsed the formation of this new Organization for Trade Cooperation. And while traditional isolationists and those who believe in high tariffs may be opposed to it, reasonable people will realize that this is a good way for increasing the orderly conduct of business throughout the world.
We have made great efforts through our government to establish world trade on a basis of cooperation and equity. If we approve in our Congress the establishment of OTC, it will be looked upon by other nations as a sign we intend to carry through our agreements in good faith.