APRIL 21, 1956
NEW YORK—I went to a Stevenson rally in Harlem Wednesday evening. It was well attended and I enjoyed meeting the group there.
Unfortunately, I had guests at home for dinner, and although rather hurried, got through very comfortably. I was home a little late for my guests, but they waited patiently and we had a pleasant evening together.
It was good to read the news that Egypt and Israel reached a new cease-fire pact and that the 12 nations which have been meeting for two months came to an agreement on a charter for an organization to deal with the peacetime uses of atomic energy.
There will be an international conference at United Nations headquarters in September at which this charter will be ratified, and I think we all feel that this is a great accomplishment.
This organization will report to the General Assembly, the Economic and Social Council, and the Security Council when it seems appropriate to do so. It is not under the jurisdiction of the Security Council. The Soviets felt it should have been, but that would have made it subject to the veto and, for that reason, we opposed the move. Finally, a compromise was reached. And I think all of us are glad to have this organization finally set up within the U.N.
I have another letter from my correspondent in California who is in the area that was so badly hit by floods. She enclosed a letter sent to her Congressman. Because this enclosure gives a picture of how people suffer from such a catastrophe, I am quoting some of it here:
"The Feather River levee broke on our farm, just south of Yuba City, when the water rose to a height of 80 feet. Our farm was wiped clean of everything—buildings, tools, trees—and we can't even find our good earth. We will be unable to use the land again unless it is entirely worked over—a tremendous task.
"Our losses are in excess of $300,000. This is typical of the losses and destruction all about us to a greater or lesser degree.
"Since the rates of private insurance companies for flood protection are prohibitive, we believe Federal flood insurance is a 'must.' It would provide the necessary assurance to persons like ourselves, faced with heavy rebuilding expenses and large future debts. It also would safeguard investments of those who were fortunate to escape this time.
"We urgently request that immediate steps be taken to activate such Federal catastrophe insurance."