JUNE 11, 1958
NEW YORK—Adlai Stevenson, in urging the free nations to rally to achieve a functioning, expanding free world trading system, has stated what seems perfectly clear to anyone who has studied the situation of the non-Communist nations of the world.
He made this statement in his weekend address at Michigan State University in which he pressed his proposal for a committee of experts comparable to the group that laid the groundwork for the Marshall Plan in 1947.
Mr. Stevenson also pointed out that as Britain and France are laying down the creditor role, the United States must take up this role if economic conditions are to be improved. That is why we should have a committee of experts in this country similar to the Marshall Plan group.
I believe, too, we should go one step further and call together the heads of industries, who will have to implement any plans made by this committee.
If we are to negotiate on a broader scale for better trade in the world, we will have to take a good look at conditions at home. We cannot let people at home suffer because it is necessary to make different arrangements in other parts of the world in an overall scheme for economic well-being on a broad basis.
This means that when certain things become unprofitable to do at home, instead of meeting the problem by putting up a high tariff wall, we will have to meet the challenge by changing our own economy, retraining our people, bringing in new industries. All of this takes real planning.
We have not even taken the trouble to plan economically with our neighbor, Canada. There is one area in which we could begin to make headway at once.
The proposals made by the Canadian Prime Minister, John G. Diefenbaker, for a four-point program deserved careful study because cooperation with Canada, our closest neighbor, should certainly show that we can develop mutually helpful ways of doing things such as dealing with our food surpluses.
To go back to Mr. Stevenson's proposal, he added a suggestion to help bring about a peaceful world which I think has great merit. He wants "an international medical research and health year as another way, similar to the International Geophysical Year, for the world to cooperate for survival instead of destruction."
He goes back to his old proposal of ending the testing of nuclear weapons and of coming to a reasonable agreement with the Soviet Union on matters of inspection against violation.
And, most important of all, he suggests acceptance by the West of the principle of Soviet equality and power so that we could divert our military rivalries into competition in science, education, and economic development.
Mr. Stevenson developed all of his suggestions reasonably and carefully, but the thing that is important is the appointment of committees to begin carrying out these suggestions.
Will the present Administration dare to accept these ideas from a Democratic leader, or will it feel that it must persist in doing nothing?