JUNE 4, 1958
NEW YORK—In his struggle with the French National Assembly, General Charles de Gaulle has won and will have six months in which to govern by decree. This gives him the power that he has asked for, and among the people he has brought into the Cabinet are many who will inspire trust by the governments of other countries.
We have not, however, seen as yet any of the grave problems de Gaulle faces brought into the open and really discussed, so it is difficult to tell how he will approach them and whether he will be successful in meeting them.
We can only hope that he will be far-seeing and patient and that at the end of the six months, with the reforms in the Constitution he is advocating, France can return to a workable form of government without actually having a dictator as Prime Minister.
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In the United Nations, where Tunis has brought its difficulties, there is one encouraging sign: both sides are willing to talk to each other. If only that could be brought about in the Near East, one would feel far more hopeful of ultimate results.
Our House of Representatives has voted overwhelmingly to set up a powerful civilian space administration. This is probably one of the most important bills to come up this year.
The Senate has had its own committee looking into this question, and there now will be a joint discussion, since the House bill has gone over to the Senate. I think it fortunate that we are putting this rule into civilian rather than military hands.
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It is good news that the House has passed a 10 percent pay rise for more than a million Federal employes. These employes are never adequately paid, and with the rise in the cost of living their salaries seemed to be even more out of line than ever.
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The Senate has only voted a 7½ percent wage increase, so now there will be a compromise between the two bills. But, in any case, I hope that something will happen soon, for this is really tardy recognition of the right of government employes to receive the same consideration that is accorded to employes in private industry.
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I received a most extraordinary communication from an organization that calls itself "Public Action, Inc." at 951 Madison Avenue, New York.
This organization is against Federal aid to education because, it says, it means Federal control of education. This statement ignores the fact, which has been in every such bill I have ever heard of, that if the Federal government aids in building or in raising salaries of teachers, the curriculum shall still be controlled by the locality.
Land grant colleges and other organizations have received Federal aid for years and no one says that they are under Federal domination.
The localities are not able to meet the extraordinary expenses that would give our children a proper opportunity for decent education, and the material I received from this organization is most misleading.