JUNE 11, 1957
YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio—Governor Averell Harriman joined his wife at the dinner of the Democratic Women's symposium at the Hotel Grammatan in Bronxville, N.Y., last Friday which I attended.
On his way from Albany, Governor Harriman told the gathering what he hoped would be achieved by the special session of the New York Legislature which opened Monday.
The Legislature, under Republican control, in the last session passed some inexcusably confusing Social Security bills which involve amendments to the state unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation laws.
Because these bills brought up so many controversial issues, the Governor was obliged to veto them and to call back the Legislature to deal with the maximum benefits for unemployment insurance and workmen's compensation. Two bills would raise the benefits in each case from $36 to $45 a week.
The Governor has limited the Legislature's consideration of the legislation to the increase in maximum benefits, for if it gets into the controversial points covered by the bills as a whole, nothing will be done.
Labor, of course, feels that the present maximums are inadequate. Without question, this is true. The whole Social Security system needs an overhauling, for the benefits originally set up are no longer adequate to cover the rise in the cost of living.
The Governor also told us that the roads of the State of New York, as a comprehensive system, had been neglected during the years of Republican administration and that he would try to get the Legislature to bring the road system to a point where it meets traffic and safety requirements, which always are endangered when roads become too congested.
I went to the Democratic Women's meeting after going to Croton, Westchester County, N.Y., to raise money for the Library of Brandeis University and a brief rest at the home of Mr. and Mrs. Pare Lorentz.
The women spent the afternoon discussing the techniques of dealing with the shift in population from big cities to suburban areas. They all felt they had a useful exchange of ideas to try out in organization.
Represented were women from nine states, and their dinner was attended by a number of state and county officials. The party chairman of my own Dutchess County was among those in attendance.
Earlier in the day, I attended a short ceremony at Roosevelt High School in Bronxville, N.Y., then spoke at Sarah Lawrence College's graduation exercises, staying there for lunch.
It was a pleasant ceremony, with 72 earnest and interested young women receiving their degrees. I have a great admiration for the college's president, Dr. Harold Taylor, and his charming wife and always am happy to have an opportunity to see them.