JUNE 21, 1957
BOYCE, Va.—The effects of a proposed draft treaty banning slave labor throughout the world will be interesting to watch. Will the treaty bring protests from areas where people may have felt before that their objections against their masters would never be heard?
Unanimous approval of the ban on slave labor was given by the Committee on Forced Labor of the International Labor Organization in Geneva, Switzerland, earlier this week.
Most of the major world powers took part in the vote, rejecting amendments introduced by Iron Curtain countries which would have shifted the emphasis away from the type of forced labor practiced in the Soviet orbit.
It now remains for the full conference of the United Nations agency to endorse formally the committee's action, opening the way for adoption of a draft treaty outlawing compulsory labor throughout the world.
The treaty would bind each ratifying power to suppress all forms of labor coercion as a means of political punishment, economic development, labor discipline, reprisal against strikes or racial discrimination.
In this respect, it is interesting to note that the Communist countries have insisted that, as a result of changes, they now have no forced labor. But one cannot help but wonder if this is true in all cases.
I want to tell you today about two books I think you might enjoy. One, published by the Viking Press and written by James B. Garfield with illustrations by Robert Greiner, is called "Follow the Leader." An interesting thing about the author is that he is 75 and this is his first published book.
Mr. Garfield is totally blind but gets about with a guide dog. And his story is of a little boy who was blinded in an accident, how he and his closest friends and a younger sister worked out a secret code in Braille to help him overcome his first obstacles in the dark.
Then the boy went to a guide dog school and brought back Leader, a wonderful dog that the neighborhood came to know and respect just as it respected the boy.
This is not a sad story. It is full of humor and one can laugh at the mistakes and be thrilled by the achievements. I think not only every child but every grownup will feel rewarded by reading it.
The other book, "The Small Woman" and written by Alan Burgess, is the story of an Englishwoman, Gladys Aylward, small of stature but great of heart, who dreamed of being a missionary to China and somehow made her dream come true. It tells of her life and adventures in China. I think you will find it interesting.
I haven't mentioned the heat of the past week because it is rather useless to talk about something you can't do anything to change.
I have been fortunate because my little garden at the rear of my apartment has been delightfully cool for breakfast every morning and the air in the apartment itself manages to stay moderately comfortable.