NOVEMBER 19, 1957
NEW YORK—I surmise that the Administration, in persuading Adlai Stevenson to act in a consultative capacity on foreign relations policies, hopes that he will help regain the ground lost with our allies and uncommitted nations throughout the world.
This cannot be accomplished, however, by calling in bipartisan help in this late stage. There will have to be deeds.
Whether or not Mr. Stevenson will be able to help the Administration strengthen its foreign relations, only time can tell. It will depend upon how much real influence he is allowed to have, since consultants have no power except persuasion and our allies are not going to be convinced by the mere words that new thinking is being introduced into Administration policy.
My best wishes go out, however, to Mr. Stevenson in his new and difficult task, and all Americans will hope that this move by the Administration will mean real bipartisan action.
The school I visited last week in Ypsilanti, Mich. is called the Rackham School. It struck me as extremely well run, and since the college (Eastern Michigan College) uses it for preparing teachers to teach handicapped children generally, it serves two valuable purposes.
I was interested to find youngsters of different ages. And it was good to see one unit of kindergarten children, who were neither handicapped nor retarded, being housed in this school because it was considered a good thing for the retarded and handicapped children to come in contact with the normal children and for the normal children to get accustomed to the others.
I saw them all in their classrooms—the deaf, the polio patients, the spastics, the mentally retarded, and some suffering from various other handicaps. It was interesting to see how they could develop. I was told that one little Hungarian refugee, who is deaf, has been progressing by leaps and bounds since he came into the school, though, poor child, he struggles with a foreign language as well as his deafness.
Our flight to Indianapolis from Ypsilanti was shrouded in fog, but there was a high enough ceiling to permit takeoffs and landings, and for this we were very grateful.
We had a pleasant dinner with the head of the Farm Bureau Organization in Indianapolis. In Indiana, the Farm Bureau Organization and its affiliated cooperatives serve a large number of people, for this is a farming state. I was somewhat surprised that the Farm Bureau Organization wanted me to speak on the United Nations, but Hassil Schenck assured me that his group had been among the staunchest supporters of the U.N. and wanted to know all it could about it.
After dinner, at which the immediate past Governor and the present Governor of the state and their wives were present, as well as the Mayor and his wife, we went over to the hall where the meetings were being held. Some awards were given for increases in membership and three girls were awarded prizes in the speaking contest. The first prize winner gave a speech which I thought was an excellent one.
Rural youth in Indiana certainly has its place in the Farm Bureau setup. The girls' choral club from Purdue University sang and then I spoke. Much to my surprise, I found a very warm and receptive audience, many of whom shook hands with me afterwards.