JULY 23, 1952
NEW YORK, Tuesday—On Monday of this week I spent the morning in Westchester County at Blythesdale Hospital. Later in the week I want to write a full account of what this hospital is trying to do for children. Dr. David Gurewitsch has lately taken the direction of the hospital and has a staff of very able people under him. I feel sure that in the special field in which they are rendering service, they can become of outstanding service to the community and serve as well in furthering knowledge in other communities.
On Monday afternoon I visited the new Rehabilitation Center, which Dr. Howard Rusk heads and which will be a part of the new Bellevue Medical Center. This rehabilitation unit is pioneering in physical medicine and doing some very interesting work.
Tuesday afternoon I fly to Chicago where I shall speak in the evening on the United Nations before the National Democratic Convention. I was asked just to tell the story of the U.N.'s past and present.
I had no intention of taking any part whatsoever in the convention this year, for I have worked so entirely with the U.N. and in the international field that I do not feel in very close touch with the political situations as they are apt to come up in a campaign.
I am very happy, however, to have this opportunity of talking about the U.N. to the Democratic party members and the television audience throughout the country. I feel that the support of the U.N. is essential to our foreign policy. Without a clear understanding on the part of the people, we might easily forget the part this organization can and should play in the world and we might neglect our responsibility for helping the U.N. and its specialized agencies to accomplish the utmost possible in the battle for a better world situation.
We must not think, however, that the positions we adopt on domestic situations will not have serious implications from the international point of view.
For instance, one of the most important things ahead of the Democrats is their attitude on civil rights. This will be watched by the whole world. A few years ago civil rights was only a domestic question. Today it affects the world attitude toward the United States and has a great bearing on our influence in the United Nations.
Our attitude on labor also is of vital importance as it will be used by the Soviets, if possible, to prove that we do not have a real interest in the working class, which forms a majority of our population.
Practically no domestic issue is a domestic issue any more in a country like ours. We must bear in mind constantly that what we do at home, in our own communities, may be a decisive factor in what influence we can have on the world situation.