FEBRUARY 9, 1950
NEW YORK, Wednesday—Yesterday morning I talked to a representative of the Swiss press, Robert S. Pirk, who is over here to study our various arts. He is troubled, as many of us have been in the past over the impressions made on Europe primarily by our movies and sometimes by our plays. Because movies and plays are produced for the people of the United States they have very little meaning for the people of Europe and often distort the picture of life in the U.S.
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Yesterday afternoon in preparation for the program which I am to begin next Sunday, I sat down with a group of technical advisers, program directors, etc. The National Broadcasting Company has asked me to be the moderator on public service programs on their television network Sunday afternoons at 4 o'clock. What is said during this show will be heard later in the evening on the NBC radio network.
This is a great opportunity which NBC is offering the public and I only hope that my share may help to fulfill the purposes of the program. We feel very strongly that the American public is entitled to hear the people who carry responsibility for the decisions affecting the lives of our own people and sometimes the people of the world.
In this country we believe in freedom of expression for everyone. I have defended freedom of the press in the United Nations. Our press is free from government control in this country. The press is only one media, however, through which the people who have responsibility in various fields can reach the public. The radio and television also give the public an opportunity for information.
In these times when the fate of civilization may be at stake it is essential for the people to hear from those who have the basic knowledge that is needed in order to understand what the world faces today.
On this program people will gather together and talk. They don't have to agree with one another on anything. I am not expressing an opinion on any of their views and not of necessity airing my own views. But I believe in free speech, in free enterprise, in the right of everyone to have his say and in the right of everyone to be able to hear as many points of view as possible. Especially in times like these the public should discuss both national and international subjects and this program will be dedicated, as many others are, to providing the public with the material on which to base their own decisions.
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I wonder how many people know of the interesting work which has been begun by the 75th Division Veterans Association, Inc.
There are about 7,000 men in this organization who have already established a four-bed emergency clinic, which is operating at Charmes sur Moselle in France. They also have sent the children in the little town a movie projector. They are now raising money to build a memorial hospital and for this purpose they will hold a concert at Carnegie Hall on February 10.
All this they do in sincere appreciation "to the wonderful people who gave us a helping hand, even though they were in desperate need themselves, during the recent war."