JULY 3, 1957
HYDE PARK—In the area of nuclear tests, the one thing that has interested people lately, I think, is the announcement that it might be possible to produce a bomb which they call "clean," from which there will be comparatively little fallout—in fact, virtually none—and, therefore, no danger to the human race.
The announcement by Dr. Edward Teller that we have achieved some success in this direction may have quieted the fears of many, and while I have not seen general agreement on the part of many of the scientists, it is to be hoped that tests in this direction will produce an increasing number of cleaner and cleaner bombs until we reach the perfection which will give us a bomb that has no fallout.
However, I will be glad to see the agreement of more scientists before I decide that this hope will become a reality, for there seems to me to be nothing yet which takes the place of stopping the tests altogether.
I realize only too well that disarmament is impossible unless everyone gets together and all of the nations involved agree on every step. But I feel encouraged when the scientists start to work to allay the fears of ordinary people. That means they really know that the people are concerned.
The hurricane season seems to have begun, and Louisiana has been the first area badly hit. The death toll has been very high and, as usual, the Red Cross has been called upon to care for homeless persons.
The President has declared the region a major disaster area, so it qualifies for all feasible Federal aid.
The rapidity with which aid has gone to the areas where people needed to be rescued illustrates a point for us: Our good fortune lies in always being able to meet the needs that arise in different areas.
There are many countries in the world lacking the resources to do anything. They can only let their people die when nature goes on the rampage or some other disaster befalls them.
Two of the recent decisions of the Supreme Court, one in the Watkins case and the other in the Jencks case, are going to cause a number of repercussions in the months to come.
I think some people are beginning to wonder whether the time has not come for the Congress to give up the investigating committees and allow the burden to be carried, as it once was, by the FBI.
It may be that Congress still thinks the need for investigations at this time is evident, but many of us are beginning to hope that a better job can be done by the FBI without building up the type of informers which Congressional investigators largely have to depend upon.
I saw by the paper a day or so ago that a music school in New York was accused of being under Communist direction, and I cannot help wondering whether, under the guise of teaching music, this school has been carrying on preparation for some kind of espionage.
Perhaps we have decided that the influence of Communism in music is so great as to make it dangerous if a Communist teaches someone to play a scale. It will be interesting to see exactly in what way the alleged Communists in this organization are said to be doing harm.