JANUARY 20, 1960
NEW YORK—It was sad news again to read on Tuesday morning of another airplane disaster. This was the crash of a Capital Airlines plane in Virginia with 48 people on aboard, all of whom were killed.
What with suspicions of sabotage and weather conditions that no one can really overcome, these accidents seem to have been rather frequent lately. One can only hope that people will be patient and not attempt to urge the airlines to fly when there is any question of running into bad weather. Of course, with instrument flying, overcoming the weather has been somewhat safer, but there still seems to be some situations to which we have not as yet found answers.
Only yesterday I read of the privately chartered plane carrying the Minneapolis professional basketball team which developed electrical trouble and the pilot found himself without radar and with every other electrically powered instrument out. After flying high for a time, the pilot finally found a spot through which he could come down and land. He picked a cornfield and, though everyone was rather badly shaken up, all were safe.
These are situations that should not occur but, unfortunately, they do.
In the early part of the current session of Congress, Rep. Charles E. Bennett, a Democrat of Florida, introduced a bill in the House to create and prescribe the functions of a national peace agency. The bill has been designated HR 9305, and its statement of purpose reads as follows:
"It is the purpose of this act to deal with problems related to achieving peace through arms limitation agreements, to developing international control and inspection systems, to endorse such agreements, and to supplying scientific and technical resources to promote peace by eliminating or reducing the economic causes of war."
This bill is worthy of study by all those interested in safe disarmament. It stresses the government's interest in "research and development bearing upon the science and technology of nuclear tests monitoring."
Of course, if this can be perfected it will take what risk there is out of a treaty designed to prevent nuclear tests. If we have a device that can detect even underground explosions, then we would be safe in making a treaty.
I believe it would be better to make a treaty and take the present risk, since the risk for continuing the tests is one to the whole human race, and the Soviets, as well as ourselves, are aware of this risk.
I read in Tuesday morning's newspaper a headline that said: "Democrats Split on Wagner's Rise as State Leader."
Had our New York mayor joined the reform movement sometime ago, there would, of course, be no question of his acceptance as a leader. But I am afraid that if there is a split it will be because a number of people may feel that Mr. Wagner is still trying to reconcile Mr. Carmine De Sapio's power and that of the reform people. And since it is impossible to achieve such a reconciliation they will find it hard to accept his leadership.
A new book I have just seen is called "First Book of the U.N." by Edna Epstein, and everyone should have a copy. This is the simple story of the United Nations and its functions, profusely illustrated and told so simply that school-year youngsters may understand it. Even so, it would be a valuable handbook to every person interested in the U.N. and it can be obtained at the U.N. Bookshop.