FEBRUARY 5, 1957
NEW YORK—There seems to be a battle going on in Miami Beach, Fla., between the powerful Teamsters' Union and the heads of the AFL-CIO, who want to clear out racketeering in the unions.
The Teamsters' action is foolish because the public is interested in seeing the unions rid themselves of racketeering elements. As I understand it, the AFL-CIO Executive Council has said that union officials cannot invoke the protection of the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination in government investigation into racketeering. This, I think, is entirely proper.
I believe in the constitutional right to use the Fifth Amendment for proper purpose. But where union racketeering is concerned, there can be no proper reason why the government cannot have truthful answers.
While there seems to be trouble in the ranks of labor, I cannot help being glad that it has not weakened to any appreciable extent Walter Reuther's Industrial Union Department of the AFL-CIO.
What is lost in withdrawals of Teamsters' unions is gained in renewals from other unions that approve the new policy. More serious, perhaps, is the threat of the Teamsters' Union to cross strike lines when it is out of sympathy with the group on strike. This might seriously weaken many unions' actions, but I still believe right will win out.
What a horrible plane accident on Rikers Island in New York's East River!
Somehow it seems as though planes should not take off in snowstorms such as the one we had Friday afternoon. It certainly is better to wait a few hours than risk the death of so many people. Now that planes carry such large numbers of people, it is growing more and more important that weather conditions be good enough to permit planes to take off without risk.
I know these delays are aggravating for passengers, for on trips I have sat in airports waiting for the weather to clear and have become so discouraged that I would have taken any risk to get off. But when I look at it calmly, I realize that it is wiser for everyone to face inconvenience than tragedy.
I went on Friday night to see Eugene O'Neill's "Long Day's Journey Into Night." The drama provides an evening of agony but of intense interest. Every member of the cast does his or her part beautifully, and from the viewpoint of characterization, I think it is most remarkable writing and very good theatre.
I do not recommend it for a pleasant evening, but if you feel strong, you certainly will be rewarded by gloom that holds you tense every minute.