OCTOBER 31, 1958
BIRMINGHAM, Mich.—It was a disappointment to learn that the Soviets have rejected the idea of suspending atomic tests for a year. Many of us had hoped that, even though the Soviets said that a year was not long enough and would mean no real accomplishment, they might have been willing to make the gesture of acquiescence in the proposal made by the United States and Great Britain.
Many people in this country will feel that this refusal by the Soviets means that they are insincere and never meant to give up the testing of atomic weapons. However, Valerian A. Zorin, the Soviet Deputy Foreign Minister, clearly stated that representatives of his government would continue negotiations in Geneva looking for a test-control system.
From the reports from the United Nations, it appeared to me that Mr. Zorin's speech to the General Assembly's Political Committee had been confusing and hard to understand. One never knows whether this is done purposely or occurs in translation, but in this case there seemed to have been real contradictions in several parts of his speech, so there is nothing to do but await future developments.
It is discouraging to have Mr. Gomulka in Moscow assert that the West wants war. His country of Poland is nearer to the West than is the Soviet Union and he should know that the West does not want war.
We in the West cannot repeat often enough our desire for peace, not war. If war is forced upon us, we will, of course, have to fight, but we know too well what destruction an atomic war would bring and we sincerely hope that the Soviets and Chinese Communists realize it, too.
Vice-President Richard M. Nixon seems to be getting a little tired and touchy in this part of the campaign. He could not take a question suggesting he had not made his position on civil rights clear, and became angry.
The President, for his part, seems to find it difficult to voice any real arguments in the campaign. He goes to West Virginia and attacks the liberals in a state where liberal policies kept many of the people alive in the hard times brought on by the Hoover depression.
He calls the Democrats spendthrifts and warns against electing those who will spend money on "hair-brained" schemes, forgetting that the Republican party has been in power for a number of years now.
The Republicans seem to have managed to spend as liberally as the Democrats ever did, outside of periods of war, but with the benefits going only to those who had all they needed. On the other hand, a long period of unemployment has brought many people to a situation where they have far less than they need, and no plans have been made to help them out of their dilemma.