APRIL 5, 1958
HYDE PARK—It depresses me to have the President and our government say that a proposal made by the Soviet government to halt nuclear tests is simply not to be taken seriously.
This may be "a side issue," but it is one that concerns the people in many countries—people who are anxious to see these tests halted.
It seems to me that the proposal should be taken seriously and, until bad faith is proved, we should show that we are as anxious to meet the longings of people in the world for a step forward as is the Soviet Union.
The Soviets may not be serious in this proposal; they simply may be trying to win a propaganda advantage over the United States. We might have done the same thing months ago, but they have done it now and by calling it a "gimmick" we are not going to make any happier the nations that really want to see some step taken towards a lessening of anxiety on nuclear weapons.
In the matter of stopping nuclear tests and moving toward new ideas on disarmament, I am afraid that the Administration is acting in the same way as it is acting concerning the recession.
It may well be that it is bad to take hasty action to halt a recession, but nothing done now could be considered hasty. The situation we are in has been developing steadily for nearly a year and recently it has begun to get worse more and more quickly.
Releasing a little money allocated under the new housing law will be a little help, but it is no comprehensive plan of action.
Bernard Baruch said that we could afford to keep our defenses in good shape and inflation was the most dangerous thing we faced, so we must not cut taxes. Our defenses are not only military defenses. They include a sound economy and a confident people.
You cannot have a confident people if they are not earning a living, so it seems that a way to get them back to work is what our legislators and the Administration should be concentrating on now.
We may not need Federal spending, but we need something. And if we do not do what has been suggested in the past, then we had better decide what is to be done and do it very soon.
The Economic Commission for Europe pinpointed the effect that a recession in this country would have in Western Europe during the coming months. We will not suffer alone. Our allies will suffer, too. And, what is much more important, the cause of freedom as opposed to communism will lose out in the eyes of the uncommitted nations of the world.