OCTOBER 24, 1952
NEW YORK, Thursday—Governor Stevenson said in his speech on Tuesday night that the overriding issue in this campaign, transcending all others, is peace. He recognized that one of the great factors in the solution of the situation was world trade. He said that we cannot always export dollars so that foreign countries may buy our products. We must make up our minds, therefore, to buy enough things from abroad to enable them to buy from us. For that to happen, we must do away as quickly as possible with barriers to world trade. This, of course, means tariff reductions, and is diametrically opposed to Senator Taft's theories on the handling of our home industries and their aspirations for protection.
In view of the world's vast needs, the accusation by the Republicans in the present campaign to the effect that our prosperity and high employment are based entirely on war, seems to me somewhat far-fetched. It is true that preparations for defense do provide high employment. But, with imagination, we should certainly be able to keep our people employed just filling orders for the things which the rest of the world needs and cannot get from anyone else.
As far as the economic situation is concerned, trade is not the only question that enters into our economic strength and our ability to make it serve useful purposes. Perhaps even more important is the question of halting inflation. The point which inflation has reached, of course, means that it will be impossible to deal with it on a piecemeal basis. Controls will have to be put in effect all across the board. To accept this will require an understanding by the people of the kind of leadership which can explain clearly and simply the reasons and the results desired.
I have heard no one in this campaign who could make the people understand the complicated situations before us so well, and in such simple and beautiful prose, as Governor Adlai Stevenson. For this reason I think that the overriding concern about peace, and about preserving the well-being that the people now enjoy in this country, will make them vote for Governor Stevenson when they face the momentous decision to be made on November 4.
We are having our difficulties in Committee Three of the U.N. General Assembly. The proposed Covenant on Freedom of Information, and the decision as to whether we have a covenant or not, came up yesterday. Our main difficulty as the work progresses has been that the covenant, instead of being an instrument to provide greater freedom, had developed into an increasingly restrictive document.
Some of the smaller nations, deeply concerned over the power of the great news services in our country and what they sometimes feel is misrepresentation of their countries in our press, are anxious to see something done about it. But their anxiety leads to more restrictions rather than to greater freedom. In Committee Three this item will be handled by a well-qualified newspaper man from the State of Oregon, ex-Governor Sprague. He is at present in Rhode Island on political business, so I will take his place temporarily. But I am sure things will not move so fast that the final decision will come up before his return.