AUGUST 3, 1960
NEW YORK—I wrote yesterday of an interesting plan that would make it possible for certain youngsters to go on to their college years who might otherwise be deprived of their higher education because of lack of funds. Now, another plan has been brought to my attention.
This other plan is a proposal of Gov. Foster Furcolo of Massachusetts, and he says if it were adopted it would mean "that for the first time in our history lack of money would no longer prevent any youngster in our nation from obtaining higher education."
This is not a new interest on Governor Furcolo's part. The Defense Education Act, which is on the books, embodies an idea that he proposed when he was in Congress in the late 1940s. And since tens of thousands of youngsters have benefited from this legislation, I am sure most of my readers would be interested to know something about his plan. He says:
"It seems almost incredible that a program could offer such benefits without any cost to the taxpayer, but it does. That feature, and its almost incomprehensible magnitude, has led me to ask insurance men and investment counselors to privately probe the plan and find any defects that might not be apparent to me as a layman. No one has yet discovered any feature that makes it unworkable."
This plan is called the "Furcolo Education Insurance Plan," and I think it should be widely publicized.
But as I look at it—and it certainly is a well-thought-out and feasible plan—I still feel it does not do what a country such as ours, fully conscious of the importance of education in our struggle against communism, should be doing at the present time to see to it that our children are equipped in every way to meet the challenge of the Communist plans.
The Communists expect to take over the world through economic and cultural approaches. The Soviet Russian Communists do not want a third world war—which would be a nuclear war and would mean total destruction—any more than we do. But they have never changed their hopes for a Communist world, and they plan with extreme care to achieve their objective by economic and cultural means.
We allow such a large part of our young people to be less informed than they should be about this; we do not take them into partnership as we should in this struggle between communism and democracy. Our young people must be every bit the match for the Communists when they go out before the peoples of the world.
Our youngsters must be educated and trained to argue the values of democracy and to do it with the knowledge of the language of any country to which they go. They must be able to take with them the proper preparation to make them good ambassadors to any people.
Their technical skill is only a part of what our future generations will need for the successful fulfilling of their share of the struggle against the spread of communism in the world. Yet, we do not offer our youngsters the means to obtain higher education without cost. We seem to think that we cannot afford anything beyond high school—and this is nonsense in today's world.