MAY 15, 1959
NEW YORK—The sudden change in the Senate's attitude toward the President's diplomatic appointees makes one wonder about what is happening.
It has always been taken for granted that the President had a right to assign representation abroad as he desired, and the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has not, as a rule, taken such a critical position on these appointments.
It may be well, however, to require every person appointed to a foreign diplomatic post to prove the seriousness of his purpose and his knowledge of that area to which he is being assigned. Improper questions should not be asked, but members of the Senate now may be recognizing more keenly than ever before the need for representatives to learn the language and to understand the country and people of their assignments.
Since more and more people are traveling by air every day, the accidents this week involving the two Capital Airlines planes are of interest to everyone.
It is rare that a thunderstorm causes the explosion of a plane in mid-air these days. In the early days of flying, there was much concern in traveling through a thunderstorm, but this has not been true in a long time.
The skidding of the other plane at the Charlestown, W. Va., Airport is not surprising to those who have landed there often and wondered how it was possible to prevent overrunning the runway. Landing on top of a mountain is a precarious business, but the skill of the pilot seems to have kept this week's accident there from being more serious than it was.
At last the voluntary hospitals in New York City have agreed to accept impartial arbitration of labor disputes, but they say that the arbitrator must be appointed by some highly placed non-elected official.
It must be complicating for Mayor Robert F. Wagner to have to talk to two groups separately, because the hospital authorities feel that if they meet with union representatives in the current hospital strike, they will be accepting what they consider illegal representation of their employees.
It is perfectly clear that if the law says voluntary hospital employees cannot be unionized, then union representation is illegal. But there must be some agreement on what kind of representation the hospital workers may have. This seems to be the difficulty now, for the voluntary hospitals do not seem willing to accept the suggested representation.
Some of the accepted improvements in the status of the employees would have come with better grace had they been put into effect long ago. I also feel that a more constant prodding of the city might have brought an improvement in its contribution, which now is reported to involve the granting of certain obvious benefits to the employees.
Let us hope that the strike stalemate which now exists will soon come to an end.