MAY 23, 1957
HOUSTON—I was not surprised at the expulsion of Dave Beck from the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations.
There is no question but what labor funds occasionally are misused through ignorance, for labor men in charge of welfare funds are not, of necessity, good businessmen. But to deliberately use union funds for one's own purposes is dishonest and disloyal and cannot be countenanced by any labor union.
Introduction in New York City Council of a bill to outlaw discrimination in private housing was good news.
If this bill, which is sponsored by representatives of the Democratic, Republican and Liberal parties, goes through, anyone refusing to rent or sell dwelling space for reasons of race, color, religion or national origin or ancestry will be guilty of a misdemeanor and may be fined $500.
There would be a few exceptions to the law -- rental of one and two family houses, the sale of private homes in developments of less than 10 units and housing accomodations in religious institutions.
MAYor Robert F. Wagner has endorsed the bill and his Administration will fully support it, and he promised to see that it will be administered with the full backing of everyone in his Administration.
New York City previously showed leadership in outlawing discrimination in publicly-financed housing, and this is a new step forward.
Development of Libya since it gained its independence in January, 1952, has been watched with interest in this country.
This country has a population of 1,100,000, and at the time of gaining its independence a United Nations' study estimated its per capita income at $35 a year.
To help Libya succeed, the U.N. and many other countries individually have been generous in their aid and already the per capita income has doubled.
Grants from foreign countries have been put into capital expenditures for roads, a telephone network, a radio broadcasting system, and purchase and expansion of the Tripoli power plant, which once was owned by Italian interests, by the Libyan-American Reconstruction Commission. This commission has four Libyan members, two American members and an American director general, Erwin Hannum.
As in other North African countries, water is the most precious possession in Libya. So the Libyans have had to build dykes and dams to check the runoff of water in the rainy season, making it possible for the soil to absorb water.
In many ways Libya's progress should be studied by other North African countries, for there is much to be gained from the work done by all those who have taken an interest in that country's development. It would be well if the ministers of other countries in the area would follow this development step by step and adjust whatever they found useful to their own programs.