JULY 3, 1958
NEW YORK—Now it remains only for the President to sign the bill passed the Senate by a large majority, and for Alaska itself to vote, and then we will have to change our flag and we will have 49 states.
I am happy that Alaska has come in as one of our states. It will be a rich state, for it has many minerals and the potential for much new hydroelectric power to be developed, but I think its most important asset is its people.
They are the kind of people we need in our country. They have a fresh spirit of adventure. They are nearer their pioneering days than the rest of us and they will give us new points of view which should be helpful.
We in New York state and some of the other Eastern states like Virginia and Massachusetts should extend a warm welcome to this new state, for I am sure that she will bring us benefits. In any case, one New Yorker wishes to say welcome and Godspeed in our new association.
Nelson A. Rockefeller has entered the race for the Republican nomination for Governor of New York state. We are told that both State Senator Walter J. Mahoney and Leonard W. Hall have been pledged more delegate votes than Mr. Rockefeller. That may well be, and as a Democrat I think Governor Averell Harriman will win, whoever is nominated on the opposing ticket.
But if the race is between Mr. Rockefeller and Governor Harriman, I feel that the Democrats must work harder than they otherwise might feel necessary.
These two men have certain similar characteristics. Both of them have wealth and a deep sense of responsibility to perform public service. Mr. Harriman has the advantage because he has the experience in office which every man in the position of Governor must gain—a knowledge of the state government, of the procedures in dealing with the Legislature and an awareness of the party leaders and the policital organization with which a Governor must deal.
This already is a great gain. Therefore, I doubt if the people of New York will change their present Governor, who has served them well, but we can at least feel confident in the integrity of both candidates if Nelson Rockefeller wins the nomination. Then we might even have a new kind of political campaign in which real issues instead of personalities are discussed.
After all the threats and the fears to the contrary, the three Soviet Union representatives have arrived in Geneva for the technical talks with the West on the detection of nuclear tests.
Admiral Lewis L. Strauss, in a farewell news conference upon his retirement as chairman of the Atomic Energy Commission, insisted it will be a disadvantage for the United States to halt nuclear tests.
No one will quarrel with his opinion that, from a technical point of view, we learn more from these tests. The question is simply whether politically we lose more with the uncommitted nations of the world by going on with the tests, which they fear and are of no value to them because they have no nuclear power and which the Soviet Union is offering to halt.
This is really a balancing of evils, but we are going to do that often, so we had better weigh rather carefully what we think is most important before making up our collective mind on this important issue.