OCTOBER 18, 1958
TOPEKA, Kan.—In his press conference the other day, in answer to a question on the national budget, which is of course important in the thinking of government officials at this time, the President made a statement on his own feeling for economy that had a very familiar ring. He said he wants to bring down the spending of the national income so that only the things needed for security and safety and essential services in the United States are permitted.
He believes that we are spending too much money, and that we should not allow ourselves to believe that the spending of money alone is "going to make the U.S. greater, stronger, both at home and abroad." He wants to see us stop depreciating the value of our dollar.
We often have heard this before, and we know that it is inflation that decreases the value of our dollar. But something very definite will have to be done. And this something, whatever it is, will have to be done by a great many people brought together to consider ways and means of doing it, if we are really going to stop inflation.
So far there is no sign that the President is going to bring these people together and seriously going to work on methods that might stop the depreciation of the dollar.
It seems to me that we would be just as well off if we did not record so carefully all the experiments made at Cape Canaveral, Fla.
It is inevitable that there should be many trials and many failures before any successes are achieved. But recording these failures gives a feeling of defeat to many people who do not understand that back of every success often lies years of experiments, many of them unsuccessful.
The average person, reading of each of these failures, gets the feeling that we are behind instead of realizing that this same thing goes on everywhere where anything new is going to be discovered.
I was in Washington the middle of last week and was surprised to find that there, it was like a summer day, so warm that one felt it was not like Indian summer but real summer.
The Book and Author Luncheon sponsored by the Washington Post was very pleasant. Mr. Alec Templeton, who was there to speak about his book on music boxes, instead of giving a speech played on a piano the old-fashioned music box tunes so many of us heard when we were children. In many of our families there still exist some of these old-fashioned music boxes, and I think Mr. Templeton's book will be enjoyed by all.
Many people will be interested in the report just released by the Commission on the College Student, which is a group sponsored by the American Council on Education. This report recommends specifically that the grades and credits required for graduation and the four-year span of study should be done away with. There is a tendency, evidently, to encourage more responsibility on the part of the student once he reaches college age and to give him more time for independent study.
A second report will follow later, and it will study not only changes in the students themselves, but, in consequence, further need to change in the colleges.