MAY 27, 1958
NEW YORK—News of the insurrection against the French government on Corsica is disquieting. Of course, this is an adjunct of the Army-inspired Algeria rebellion aimed at bringing General Charles de Gaulle into power.
What troubles me is what will happen if de Gaulle gets into power. There will still be—even though no mention is made of the fact—the present Algerian problem in spite of the fact that the French Army gives the impression that if the Gaullists come into power, everything in Algiers will be settled.
I fear there will still be the Algerians who want freedom to contend with, and freedom for them is not the de Gaulle party's aim. This makes it a complicated situation, with the French facing no decisive outcome and the possibility of a continuation of trouble in Algiers looming indefinitely before them.
What would happen to NATO is, of course, a concern of all the NATO powers, and there must be some concern by the French government as to where its arms would come from if it has to carry on an extended war. NATO has been the chief source of these arms in the past.
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It was interesting to note that the President thinks that we have reached the end of the downward trend in the present recession and that on September 9, when General Motors is scheduled to start production of its 1959 model automobiles, there may be a rising boom. Until the automobile plants are working at near capacity this cannot take place, but there is a suggestion that the new models may bring it about.
I am wondering, however, whether the new models will sell any better than the old ones and whether the people will be any more ready to invest in the new cars in September than they are in June.
I hope that the predictions that all economic ills are over will come true, but until we begin to see far more rises in employment than have as yet been reported I can't see why any really great change should come about.
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I have said nothing in this column about Elmer Davis since his death, but much has been said, and I would like to add a few words.
Nothing that I say can add to the reputation which Mr. Davis built for himself as a liberal and as a man of integrity and courage. To those of us who have known him over a period of years, it was a sad moment in our lives when he left the air, because we had come to count on him.
He was a man of really great character and all those who knew him had not only affection but deep respect for him. His influence will live for a long time, both on his fellow journalists, who cannot help but measure their own standards by his, and by the general public, who had come to trust him as a guide for their thinking.
He had been ill for a long time, and perhaps for him his death was a release from pain. But to the country and to his followers everywhere, it was a real loss, and we approach the problems of the day with a recurring wish that we could hear his voice and have his guidance.
I believe that he will long serve as a guiding spirit for those who will speak out for the things in which they believe.