OCTOBER 7, 1959
TULSA, Okla. —It was interesting to read recently of a meeting in Berlin of some prominent Americans and Germans who gathered privately to discuss East-West tensions as they affect both countries.
Former Secretary of State Dean Acheson held a press conference in which he stated his personal view on what should be done in Europe at the present time. Some of the speeches made by Germans at this conference were deeply disquieting, and I was glad to see that the Americans present apparently did not always agree.
I am not very sure, however, that a conference of this kind on an unofficial level can do very much that would be helpful to improve East-West tensions. I doubt, too, if such a private meeting can give the people in Germany, or even in the United States, a clearer view not only of the European issues but of all the related situations that have to be taken into consideration if one is to have a really rounded view of the world situation.
There is no longer the possibility of thinking of one area of the world alone and hoping to come out with any realistic solution.
It was certainly strange to read last week that the U.S. Treasury had found it necessary to set a five percent interest rate on its bonds. This is the first time in 30 years that such a high rate of interest has been set and it brought about an avalanche of orders.
The problems of the aged and their inadequate pensions or inadequate Social Security benefits are being brought more and more frequently to my attention. One lady wrote me the other day about the inadequate pensions for Civil War widows. She stated that they receive $65 a month, which in Seattle, where she lives, hardly covers the most modest room rent. She feels keenly that there should be legislation for this very small group that would permit a little more to live on.
At the same time I received a letter urging support for a bill that was passed unanimously by the Senate on September 9—the Sparkman bill S-1502. This legislation would bring the pensions of foreign service career personnel up to date, and it will come before the House in January.
I am sure, though the writer does not mention the exact amount of increase, that this, too, would not mean a tremendous drain on the Treasury, I hope the House sees its way to pass this bill and give a little more comfort to those who have spent their lives in our foreign service.
An organization called "Meals for Millions" has brought to my attention that it, which 14 years ago inaugurated its idea, has now succeeded in providing health and welfare authorities all over the world with low-cost edible protein food. Such foods frequently can be produced from local material, which had not been used beforehand in certain countries, and can revolutionize a people's diet.
The organization is anxious to have more people know of what it is doing and will be glad to answer any questions from their California office at 115 West 7th Street, Los Angeles.