DECEMBER 26, 1956
HYDE PARK—What a delightful gift Bernard M. Baruch has given to the future citizens of New York City!
Those two little islands off Staten Island which belong to the Federal government now will be state property, thanks to the $10,000 gift from Mr. Baruch. They will be connected, I understand, and will become a 250-acre public picnic and fishing area after having been useless for a long time.
The citizens of the future will be grateful to a farsighted and generous citizen of New York City. Of course, Mr. Baruch always says that he is a South Carolinian and so we have to acknowledge his first allegiance to South Carolina. But he has been in New York City so many years that we must have some claim to him as well!
A man well versed in foreign affairs said to me the other day that the best thing that could happen for the peace of the world would be an agreement between the United States and the Soviet Union to cease trying to dominate in a military or political way any part of the world outside of their own possessions.
If such an agreement could be reached, it would mean, of course, that the struggle of ideas would still go on throughout the world and that economic resources probably would be used.
We might reach a point where we also would have to agree that economic resources, or actual technical development of any area of the world, must come through the United Nations. If that were agreed to, then every nation, according to its population and wealth, would be asked to contribute to the increased development of nations which would not have yet gained the ability to develop themselves. And economic development would cease to be a power used to foster political or military control.
As far as peace in the Near East is concerned, it seems to me that such an agreement and a comprehensive plan for the development of the whole Near Eastern world might be a final solution. It might remove the fear, under which people of that area live, of being dominated by some great power.
This would not mean, of course, that the great powers would not have the responsibility of developing and proposing such plans to the United Nations and carrying the full measure of financial responsibility in these plans. But it would mean that the actual carrying out of any accepted plan would be done by the U.N. Every nation, no matter how small, therefore, would feel no obligation to any one particular nation for its advancement.
All of this, of course, is based on the premise that the Soviets and ourselves ever could reach such an agreement. This would require more confidence than we now have in each other. It also would require some means of ascertaining how we were living up to our international agreements.
But if the peoples of the world realize that annihilation threatens, perhaps they can induce their governments to use this amount of intelligence. A pipe dream, you may say, but let us hope for the best!