JULY 24, 1957
NEW YORK—It is interesting to see that, more and more, Congress is asserting its authority over the President's actions as these years of his final term of office progress. We shall have to wait to find out whether this is good or bad, but I am a little troubled by the action of the Joint Congressional Atomic Energy Committee in voting, on July 19, that whatever allocation the President makes of nuclear materials to the Atoms For Peace organization must be approved by Congress.
I think it is still possible for us to join this very important organization, although the news article I read indicated that the State Department has doubts as to our being able to do so if Congress places restrictions on the extent of our participation. That is why the State Department has been holding up final ratification of the treaty, pending enactment of the implementing legislation.
We shall all watch with interest to see what happens now. The Atoms For Peace organization was suggested by President Eisenhower in his speech before the United Nations in 1953, and now—four years later—the world is still waiting to see how we implement what was our own idea for the useful, peace-time application of atomic energy.
This is the season of the year when all of us, especially our young people, turn to the out-of-doors. I don't know how many people are aware of the fact that the American Youth Hostel Council has slowly been building up the same type of inexpensive accommodations throughout this country that can be found all over Europe.
Mr. Harris, the staff representative for New York City, tells me that they are about to build a new hostel near Warwick, N.Y. They are now raising funds for this, and I think many people may be interested in helping our American Youth Hostel movement.
I have seen young people hiking or bicycling all over Europe, putting up for the night at the accredited youth hostels, which are all very carefully supervised and well run. Everything is most simple, for economy's sake, but what food they furnish is good and wholesome, and the hostels are always kept clean.
I think the movement should grow here in the United States, for it provides a safe and inexpensive way for our young people to see more of their own country.
We are so accustomed to thinking of rail travel as being completely safe that it is a shock to read of the train accident to the Nice-Paris express, in which 18 people were killed and 78 injured. One wishes to extend sincere sympathy to the French, for in such a disaster there are no international boundaries.