AUGUST 22, 1959
HYDE PARK—I was very glad to read that the Democratic Advisory Council had issued a statement urging President Eisenhower not to bypass the United Nations in setting up new machinery for disarmament negotiations that would, in effect, take over from the United Nations Disarmament Commission. The President was urged to reconsider any agreement to have five votes representing the West and five representing the Communists—if it has been already agreed to.
From what I have read I understood that this ropresentation had been agreed to by our government, but I will certainly be delighted if it can be stopped or reconsidered. Such an agreement seems to me a very questionable situation for the West as far as negotiation goes.
On August 19 Mr. Bernard M. Baruch was 89 years old, and I liked particularly the statement he gave out, saying that he was going to "remember the event without counting the years."
He has added a few more than I have to the number of years he has lived on earth, and I think as we grow older it is wise just to "remember the event and not count the years." For if we begin to feel handicapped in what we do, and if we wonder if we are still able to do this and that and to work well and understand the world in which we live, we are apt to make ourselves less useful.
I would prefer it very much if we all could follow Mr. Baruch's prescription and pay very little attention to counting the years. I want no celebrations on any birthdays to come. A kind word of encouragement and remembrance are all that should come our way, for we must concentrate our efforts on doing what we can as long as we are allowed to remain on this earth!
I saw Mr. Baruch a few days ago and he seemed to me very well and doing exactly what could be most useful—taking his time to think and then sharing his thinking with the rest of us. My congratulations and very best wishes to to him at all times, for his thinking will benefit us all.
I am very glad to see that Senator John L. McClellan has decided to hold open hearings by the Senate Rackets Committee on the United Auto Workers Union, and that the committee will release the testimony given during recent secret sessions.
Mr. Walter Reuther is, of course, a problem for the Republican members of the committee, who would be delighted if they could find something wrong going on in the union for which he was responsible. But it is evident that the Republican members who wanted secret sessions have been unable to persuade the entire committee that this was warranted.
The UAW is one of the unions that has done very excellent work in removing Communists from any positions of influence, and no one has been stronger than Mr. Reuther in insisting that labor must clean house itself and have the highest possible standards. Otherwise, he rightly contends, labor would lay itself open to government regulation of a kind that would prevent the growth of unions, for instance in the South, which is one of the things that the new labor reform bill seems and looks likely to accomplish.