FEBRUARY 7, 1950
HYDE PARK, Monday—A new snow is falling softly today—the first real steady snow I have seen this year. I wish I were not going back to New York City this afternoon, but I made engagements for the rest of the week and so must leave. Tonight I am going with some friends to a play that I hope will give us a very pleasant evening.
Like everybody else in the world I suppose, I have been thinking about Senator Brien McMahon's speech of last week and the hydrogen bomb. And I read in the newspapers every day everything that bears on these two subjects. My feeling is that where the scientists are concerned they are a little appalled at where their science has led them. They can destroy civilization and they wish they couldn't. But their whole scientific thought obliges them to go on studying, testing, learning because that is the way to advance.
It seems to me the scientists are not to blame. Scientists all over the world are doing the same thing. In the days of the past, they shared their information with one another, with the realization that what they were doing was to engage in pursuits that must be shared by the whole of mankind and so they belonged to a fraternity of peoples engaged in the same type of pursuits.
Now war and our lack of development along certain lines has divided them. They see themselves faced with divisions and questions of national security which are not familiar to them. The rest of us on the outside—the mere public—know very little of what is known by the scientists, by our government officials and by the President, but we cannot help thinking about it. Some of us are moved by fear, some of us are struck by a bewildered apathy and others are moved to a feeling that we must know more and we must try to do something.
I am not completely in accord with Senator McMahon's proposals. They do not seem to me to face the realities of the situation. The peoples of the world must know what science has now made possible, for even under dictatorships, when the people really understand what they are faced with, those in power cannot act in total disregard of their peoples' wishes.
Information seems to me one vital thing at the present time. Instead of curtailing the "Voice of America," I would augment its strength a thousand-fold so that the peoples of the world would know what we stand for and where we hope to come out of this present situation.
It seems to me that unless we do something somewhat different from what we have been doing up to now, the road leads to war and bankruptcy.
I think, therefore, we have to determine on new things to do. And I hope we will hear more in the next few weeks from those who are in a position to know what the situation of the world really is. Their solutions may not be final; in fact, they should not be, because the people should have an opportunity to be heard, and at least we should know more about what is going on.