JULY 12, 1956
HYDE PARK—It seems as though the Greek Islands are repeatedly suffering from an earthquake or some other of nature's shocks. It must be hard for people to stand up under such continuous uncertainty and there can be no greater uncertainty than the fear of recurring earthquakes.
Our sympathy should go out to these people, and if there is anything that we can do to help them, I hope that we will all help in any way we can, for Greece has had a very hard time in the last few years and the constant drain of aid to different areas of her population must be very difficult for her economy to meet.
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It seems strange that employment is reported to have hit a 66.5 million peak while, at the same time, one hears from a number of areas that people are being laid off. There are layoffs, for instance, in the automobile business and on some railroads.
An article on this subject which I read explained that 1,300,000 of the jobs were summer jobs for young people, accounting for the employment peak at this time. Employment rose sharply on farms and in many non-farm activities, but the seasonal rise in some manufacturing areas was only half what it usually is.
The steelworkers' strike, of course, will account for a large amount of unemployment if it goes on much longer, and I am sure there are a good many people, judging from my mail, who are not now in their usual employment because of loss of jobs in those particular lines.
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Columnist Walter Lippmann wrote the other day:
"To judge by what is happening in Congress to the President's legislative program, he is the unanimous candidate of a party that will not follow him as a leader."
Those of us who are interested in seeing foreign aid increased in the economic field are sadly afraid that this is true. For while in Congress each party accuses the other of sabotaging the President's program, the desire for economy—which is important to a few Democrats but seems more important to a great many Republicans—overrides the great national interest in our foreign relations.
We must show through deeds that we understand the needs of peoples in the world whom we could help far more if we increased our economic aid than we ever will help by military aid.
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I think many of us are deeply concerned over the loss of Federal aid to the public schools of our country. As a result, our Negro youngsters are going to suffer even more than our white youngsters, because we can be quite sure that if there are going to be more private schools, there will be no extra room provided for Negro youngsters.
I am deeply disturbed by this whole situation and wish that there were some way for Congress to come to an agreement on how Federal aid could be given, allowing the courts to decide where and how it should be allocated.