FEBRUARY 26, 1957
NEW YORK—On Friday I spent a good part of my day in the Carnegie Endowment building because the American Association for the U.N. is having a regional conference for the Atlantic seaboard states. The group met in the morning, at lunch and in the afternoon on Friday, three times on Saturday and again on Sunday morning. The problems confronting our various chapters have been very thoroughly discussed. There is a very general feeling that interest in the U.N. has been stimulated by the events of the past months and our chapters feel they must use this interest to grow as far as possible in membership.
As I came out of the Carnegie Building at 2:40 on Friday afternoon I was astonished to see a long line of people stretching from the closed gates of the U.N. up to 47th Street. They were standing waiting and evidently the building was already filled to capacity with people wanting to attend the afternoon session which discussed what action the U.N. should take as regards Israel and the Near East. I had no idea there would be so much popular interest in this session but it is quite evident that these sessions should be broadcast if possible because it will never be possible to get enough people inside to hear what is going on.
Slowly but surely the settlement of the dock strike seems to be approaching and that will be a great relief to many people. I also saw that the tug and tow boat strike in New York harbor was scheduled to come to an end on Friday if the agreement was ratified by a vote taken in Manhattan center at one p.m. This accord is to last six years and if it was ratified tugs were supposed to report for work in a few hours. Sad to say, the men rejected this settlement and a new effort must be made. Six years seems to me too long for no one can foretell financial conditions. It will be a good thing if these two strikes can be settled soon because it does a harbor no good to be under difficulties of this kind. Ships do not like to be inconvenienced and delayed. The whole of New York would suffer if maritime traffic was routed to other ports.
I would like to remind my readers that the 1957 Red Cross campaign will take place during the month of March. The goal this year must be 95 million dollars which the chapters will be expected to raise. During 1956 two hundred disaster operations were conducted. Abroad the Hungarian crisis called for immediate spending of millions of dollars for food and clothing and medicine, both inside Hungary and for refugees in Austria. There has also been need for help for these refugees in the U.S. All the other tradition Red Cross activities must be maintained. There are 37,000 chapters in the U.S. but even for them to raise this large budget and to carry on all their services will be a difficult job and it will need the help of every community to see that all that is needed is provided by the financial campaign of 1957.