JULY 18, 1957
NEW YORK—There was an interesting article in one of our metropolitan newspapers the other day about a state kindergarten in Leningrad. The Soviet Union provides nurseries for under-three-year-old children of working mothers, and kindergarten for the next age group. The cost to parents is according to their ability to pay and the children are fed and trained and well cared for.
The state underwrites the expense of these schools, since the mothers are obligated to work. Some changes are evidently coming about, however, for there seem to be more plain housewives in the Soviet Union than there used to be.
This may be because the demand for workers cannot be as great as during the war or immediately following it, and it may appear to the Soviet Union to be more advantageous to have children cared for by their mothers until they go to school. I think this is accepted in most countries as a wise plan.
I shall be very interested to visit a kindergarten and a nursery and any educational institutions I can see, if I am granted a visa to go to Russia. This is an area in which I have long had some experience and I would like to talk to the men and women interested in education in the Soviet Union.
On July 16th the meeting of the American Bar Association came to an end in New York and the members sailed for London to re-convene there July 24th. One hopes that the meeting in London will give some of them a more international outlook than they showed in two of their actions here.
They refused to say that U.S. membership in the Organization for Trade Cooperation presented no constitutional problems and they also refused to appoint an observer to be accredited the U.S. Mission to the United Nations. I feel that their extremely reactionary attitude is largely due to lack of information. As intelligent men, they should at least be willing to put themselves in a position where they have full information on the questions which come up where international affairs are concerned.
I drove from Hyde Park to Westbrook, Conn., on Monday and had a pleasant few hours with my friend Miss Esther Lape. Then I drove into New York and spent the evening watching a German movie, one of those entered in the international competition for the Selznick Awards.
I think, on the whole, we are having beautiful weather and I feel stimulated even in New York City!
On Tuesday, I went to the office and then back to Hyde Park to speak at Bard College for the Cooperative Association, but I returned to New York City on Wednesday morning to fulfill several obligations here and will stay in town till Friday.