FEBRUARY 28, 1958
NEW YORK—In Washington early this week an imposing group met to discuss the President's foreign aid program. This group was not limited to Republicans, for it has been recognized that it will take Democratic and Republican votes to get this program through.
President Truman, who has had no meeting with President Eisenhower since 1953, nevertheless spoke in the interests of foreign aid, and I think everyone who has any interest in the future of our country must agree that this program must go through.
My only objection to it is that there is too much military aid contemplated and too little economic aid. I cannot help feeling that we must concentrate on economic aid or we cannot hope to demonstrate to the uncommitted nations of the world that we are really interested in their well-being.
A question put to Vice-President Richard M. Nixon posed the difficulty of justifying foreign aid when we need projects for aid here at home, and I thought he answered it very cleverly. The gentleman is clever.
He promptly said that, of course, it was difficult for a Congressman when needed projects here at home have to be held up to make way for foreign aid, but we must remember that during the war we had to hold up a number of necessary projects and did so without protest from our citizens, since we were in a war for survival. At present, said our Vice-President, we are also in a war for survival and we must try to make our people understand that this is the case.
I am glad that the Administration is at last facing this fact and I hope it will alert the general public to it, because so far it has sugar-coated bad news to an extent that I think unwise in the present situation.
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I attended a meeting of the Village Independent Democrats Tuesday evening. The Village in New York City is, of course, Greenwich Village, and this is the group that was organized to work for Adlai Stevenson in the last campaign.
It is now putting on a series of panel discussions and on Tuesday the Honorable Ernest A Gross, Dr. George S. Counts, and I, with Raymond S. Rubinow as moderator, addressed ourselves to the subject "A Reappraisal in 1958 of Soviet-American Relations."
The audience seemed to find the subject extremely interesting, and I learned a great deal from listening to my two colleagues on the panel. I thought the evening was a successful one. This is an activity many of our political organizations might well undertake.