JULY 17, 1959
NEW YORK—All of us must be very concerned over the steel strike. Steel is a basic industry and it affects many other industries. The results of this strike can reach out into far corners of the world.
It seems incredible that intelligent men on both sides cannot come to an understanding as to what they are entitled to and what the company can afford to do without putting higher prices on its products which will eventually be paid for by the public.
The unions say that profits indicate that this can be done. Very well then, intelligent men who are interested in the public welfare should come to an understanding.
How can we ever obtain peaceful solutions between men of different races on subjects far more emotional than those now before the steel companies and their employees? Differences between nations lead to war and we want peace, but if we cannot come to agreement within our own country, where we speak the same language, know how we live and how we want to live, what can we look for among nations? This is one of the discouraging things about our advances as one of the peoples of the world who count ourselves highly civilized.
I want to pay a tribute to the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, now celebrating in New York 50 years of work. Meeting at the Coliseum this week, the NAACP has made a careful review of its achievements and its goals for the future, and I think the organization can be proud of its accomplishments. As Americans, we can all be thankful that there have been white and colored people working together who have been trying to make a reality of the words: "All men are created equal and have equal rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness"
The leaders of the NAACP, President Arthur Spingarn, Chairman Channing Tobias and Executive Secretary Roy Wilkins have carried very heavy responsibilities in the last few years. They have been courageous, temperate and wise, they have also been energetic and forthright in their statements.
Where a whole section of our population has been asked to be patient for over 100 years, patience cannot be the only answer now. The NAACP must bring pressure, it must push forward, and because it has used wisdom in everything it has done so far, I salute the leaders and wish them well in the future.
The weather was not particularly kind on the evening that I took part in an old fashioned political motocoade through the lower East Side. This was staged by the Stevensonian Democratic Club. They are running two candidates for leadership in the 6th A.D. South, Mr. Shanley Egeth, former president of the New York Young Democrats Club, and Virginia Dwyer, a department store buyer.
This is a three-cornered fight which will be settled at the primaries on September 15th, and one hopes that the interest aroused will lead to greater participation by citizens in the primaries. Many people do not return from vacation until after Labor Day, so mid-September is a rather difficult time to bring as many people to the polls as possible. The effort to do this, however, must be made—and perhaps the conflict will be very useful in arousing interest.