AUGUST 1, 1959
HYDE PARK—Outcome of Hawaii's first election as the 50th state indicated to me that the Hawaiians showed a remarkable ability to stay well in the middle of the road, politically.
The election was interesting, too, because it will bring to Congress two men of Oriental ancestry. Hiram L. Fong, a 51-year-old Chinese-American businessman and financier and a Republican, will be one of the Senators. And Daniel K. Inouye, 34, will be a member of the Congressional delegation.
Former Governor Oren L. Long, also a Democrat, was elected to the second seat in the Senate, but a balance between Republicans and Democrats was kept by the election of a Republican Governor.
Charles A. Coolidge, who will head a U.S. government study on control and reduction of arms, has a difficult task ahead of him but a very worthwhile one.
The President is certainly right in feeling that a search for steps toward international disarmament must be made, and this, of course, means that negotiations with the Soviet Union will be kept going. The present conference of foreign ministers in Geneva will, it has been reported, end on Wednesday whether there is a Berlin settlement or not. It is likely that a recess will be declared; otherwise it would seem that action might be taken on the Berlin question which would lead to real difficulties between us and our allies.
Also on the international scene, it was good to note that the President favors an invitation to Premier Nikita Khrushchev to visit this country. I hope he will pick that time before too long.
A recent report on New York City schools is rather appalling. I wonder why the survey, which was covered in the report, was not made long ago.
To find now that 190 city schools constructed before 1910 are regarded as obselete means that New York's children who attend these schools are getting their education under less than decent conditions.
The Mayor apparently is doing something about this, and when complete information is in, an announcement will be made of a 10-year program for school construction and modernization.
In November, a $500 million bond issue will be voted upon by the people, and information on the subject is being disseminated now so that the people will have time to learn fully of the school needs.
Without the facilities this bond issue would provide, there apparently will not be enough seats in the schools of New York City for all the children.
It seems to me that it is absolutely essential for our big cities to save money in every other way except on health and schools. I realize, too, that great savings cannot be made on protection, so police and fire departments must have adequate appropriations. But I believe that there are ways to save money so that our growing children will not be deprived of a good education.