JANUARY 6, 1960
NEW YORK —It is good news to read that Iran, under the leadership of the Shah, Mohammed Reza Pahlevi, is moving forward to a more democratic system in its land tenure. With his support a bill has been put before Iran's parliament "to reduce drastically the holdings of absentee landlords and to create a class of peasants and small farmers who will own the soil they till."
This is going to be difficult to achieve, however, because of the system of villages now existing, which practically have belonged to the landowners. The people living in the villages practically belong to the landlord also, and they till the land that is his outside of the villages.
Conditions in the villages have not been good, but they have been slowly improving. And the government has been concerned sufficiently to appoint a woman for the first time in the Department of Agriculture to try to arrange for teaching of the women in the villages. They would learn to use to better advantage what they already have and also would learn certain fundamentals of hygiene designed to improve the health of the village people.
Our congratulations must go to the Shah, and if he succeeds in passing this bill and in actually putting these reforms into practice, it will be a great step forward in that area of the world.
I was saddened to read that in spite of all warnings and with fairly good weather the traffic death toll mounted to a record high during the Christmas-New Year's holiday period. I always feel that deaths on our highways are a fearful waste of human life, for we should be able to keep speed down to a point where accidents will not be so serious.
MAYor Robert F. Wagner of New York City is being congratulated on many sides for his appointment of Miss Florence M. Kelley as the Presiding Justice of the Court of Domestic Relations, the first woman ever to hold the position. Miss Kelley was highly recommended, and it was surely a very fine appointment.
One wonders a little, however, why someone with previous experience on the bench was not chosen. But perhaps the difficulty of making a decision from among the many good candidates already sitting in our courts would be too much of a headache.
So we must be grateful that the Mayor's choice of Miss Kelley has won widespread approval, and we hope she will prove to be a very able judge in a court that affects the lives of so many people.