NOVEMBER 28, 1958
HYDE PARK—I have been talking some more about the difficult situation of hospital wages, particularly in New York City, and somebody brought to my attention the fact that the most expensive hospital bed is an empty one. And, it was pointed out to me, that probably one of the troubles that the city finds difficult to meet is the fact that city hospitals are overbuilt and have a fairly large number of empty beds.
With more careful planning the extra money that the city should pay private hospitals—whether they are nonprofit, voluntary hospitals or not—to make it possible for these hospitals to meet expenses, and which the city claims would cost it some $12,000,000 a year, might actually be achieved at a saving if the city would re-examine its whole expansion program.
What is built now, of course, cannot be changed. But for the future a change could be made and no more building by the city need be done until actually there is a shortage of beds in all hospitals. At the present time, I am told, the desirable hospitals have a shortage of beds and are running on deficits, but the city hospitals have a number of unoccupied beds.
It is very gratifying to read that the Mayor is making a real attack on slums in New York City. The enforcement of ordinances together with a tenant-education program, which is to be carried on by the Welfare Department and other voluntary agencies, should help a great deal in cleaning up and in preventing growth of slum areas. I don't think there is any doubt that many violations will be found and I believe that great improvements can be brought about in rather quick time.
I attended an interesting concert given at the United Nations last Tuesday evening through the cooperation of the Symphony of the Air, conducted by Leopold Stokowski, and the Crane Chorus of the State University of New York, at Potsdam.
This branch of the state university is one of our Teachers' Colleges that specializes in music, and its chorus Tuesday night gave a very beautiful performance.
The main oratorio—by the Turkish composer, Ahmed Adnan Saygun—was presented with the permission of the Turkish Government. The poem for which the music was composed was written by one of Turkey's mystic poets who was born toward the middle of the 13th Century in the village of Sarikay, which is about 85 miles from Ankara. It is the cry of a man who searches for the reason of life and in the end is rewarded by his triumphal discovery of his God.
The concert was begun by a short "Invocation," composed by Anis Fuleihan, who is of Lebanese origin. Mr. Fuleihan, who was born in 1900, became an American citizen after coming to the United States in 1915. In 1953 he became the director of the Conservatoire National de Musique in Beirut and his composition was a perfect beginning to this interesting concert.