JULY 26, 1946
NEW YORK, Thursday—Most of us listened to the radio with great interest yesterday when the under-water atom bomb was tried out in Bikini Lagoon. The damage seems to have been considerable, and I cannot help feeling a little sad at the sinking of the aircraft carrier Saratoga. Her fame will live in the annals of the Navy, and I suppose it is a perfectly good end for a valiant ship. However, I would have liked to see her permanently on exhibition in one of our Navy yards, so that her story could be told to the young while they actually stood on her decks.
Finally, last night, the OPA bill was passed. I hope its passage will insure a curb on inflation. Anybody who keeps house does not need to be told that prices are rising too rapidly and, while it may be true that meat is more plentiful, it is also true that it is much more expensive and beyond the reach of people living on moderate budgets.
Food plays a big part in the health of the nation. We can produce enough food to give everyone of our citizens an adequate diet, but many of them never really have a decent diet. Though this is partly due to lack of knowledge, it is also partly due to economic conditions.
We have a big job to do in our schools, where children should learn what a balanced diet means and what foods constitute a balanced diet. It seems to me it should be the aim of every school in the country to teach its children the rules for sanitary living and for healthful eating. A child should learn, for instance, the value of uncontaminated water and how it can be obtained. In other words, in our schools we can do much to preserve the health of the nation.
* * *
The next step, of course, is to provide proper medical care for everyone, regardless of ability to pay. The other day, I received a pamphlet called "Health Can't Wait," by Leon Pritcher, M.D., and Frank Scully. Two statements in that pamphlet stand out and show that, wherever you live, human nature is much the same.
One of them reads, "The British Medical Association is collecting a fund of 1,000,000 pounds to fight the enactment of this measure… The British Medical Association versus the British people!"
The second is: "The American Medical Association is following the pattern of its British prototype, soliciting a 'war-chest' to fight the U.S. Government. Here, too, we have:
"The American Medical Association versus the American people!
"The 'Guardians of Health' determined to preserve sickness!"
I am not a proponent of any particular method of government provision for medical care, but I have never been able to see why we have been willing to tax ourselves for education and not for health. Unless children are well, they cannot take full advantage of their opportunities for education.