JUNE 28, 1960
NEW YORK—I wonder how many of my readers are aware that this year of 1960 is the 100th anniversary of the birth of Jane Addams.
Perhaps only we older people remember Jane Addams very well, but it certainly would be a good thing for younger people to know more about her. The settlement house, Hull House, which she started in Chicago was truly a pioneering effort in the field, and she not only trained many people in this type of work, but also had great effect on the concept of social welfare throughout the country.
She was devoted to the ideal of peace in the world, and while some of the things she did to further that ideal may now seem fantastic to the point of uselessness, they took courage to do. And they did make others think about the possibility of achieving a better understanding among the peoples of the world, and so—eventually—of doing away with war.
Jane Addams had such a great influence on so many people during her lifetime that I hope all young people, in this 100th anniversary year, will read about her life and her work, and ponder what a woman with ideals can accomplish.
Our position as regards Cuba might be considered almost funny if it were not so serious for the many American businessmen who have a great deal of money invested there. Now that some of our Senators and Congressmen are suggesting that Premier Fidel Castro's goings-on in recent months have not been exactly friendly to the United States, those businessmen must be increasingly nervous.
When Castro insists that the U.S. is taking steps of "aggression" towards him, it is obvious that he does so because of his fear that we might do so. As a matter of fact, the U.S. has not done a single thing that would indicate any antagonism or "aggression" of a military type.
The suggestion that we curtail the amount of sugar that we buy from Cuba—for which we pay a higher price, so that we are really subsidizing the Cuban sugar industry—is considered by Premier Castro to be "economic aggression," and he threatens in return to seize all American-owned property and business interests in Cuba. The "funny" part of this is that of course he would not dare make this threat if he were not completely certain that the U.S. has no aggressive intentions towards him.
We certainly have established the fact that we are not militarily aggressive towards Cuba or the Cuban people. And if Castro destroys all American business in Cuba, from which the island has been getting the largest part of its revenue, he will find that it is not necessary for the U.S. to take any military action. He himself will have taken the action which destroys the economic well-being of his people.
To establish new industries and an entirely independent economy for Cuba will require a tremendous amount of outside capital. It may be that Castro thinks this capital can be obtained from the Soviet Union, but if he tries that he will find that he is obligated far more severely than he ever has been by U.S. investors or what he calls U.S. "interference." Perhaps this is a lesson he has to learn.