FEBRUARY 3, 1960
NEW YORK—I wonder if anyone else is getting as many communications as I am these days about efforts being made on the part of individuals and groups in the Soviet Union, who claim to be making special efforts to bring about peace.
I have had letters from many women, in particular, whom I have met, urging me to join with Soviet women's delegations that will be at an international meeting this spring in Copenhagen, Denmark. This meeting has been called, ostensibly, to consider how they can further the peace of the world, and it will be held under Communist auspices.
It will bring together representative Communists from many countries and, almost certainly, some well-intentioned women from non-Communist countries who do not recognize the Communist domination of such a project. And what is so obvious to most people is the fact that these Communist-dominated groups always end such sessions by advocating certain methods that are wholly distasteful to the democratic areas of the world.
I have, however, received today a message from the Council of the Union of Soviet Societies for Friendship and Cultural Relations with Foreign Countries. This group writes of a meeting held in early December at which the organization issued an appeal to "the foreign societies, organizations and individuals working for international friendship and cultural cooperation."
There is nothing in this appeal, however, that any of us could accept as expressing our own heartfelt desires for peace.
What I would like to see, though, would be a meeting called by the non-Communist organizations of the free world that would welcome the attendance of representatives from the Soviet Union but which would keep the balance of representation in the hands of the organizations calling the meeting. I think such a meeting would make a really valuable contribution to the cause of peace throughout the world.
It grieves me to find apparently less interest and less initiative in the women of the democratic world, and I would like to have our people in the United States think this over and take some active steps.
It was not surprising to read in our local newspapers last week that 15 voluntary hospitals in New York City are considering that they may have to close their doors unless the city is willing to raise the amount paid per day for patients admitted. The costs chargeable to these patients is assumed by the city. At the same time we learned that in the city's own hospitals there are a number of vacant beds.
This is a problem that deserves much study. One wonders if perhaps the city should put more money into improving its own hospitals so that the public could feel it would be getting the best possible care when admitted. This, then, might necessitate the closing in certain areas of certain voluntary hospitals, but no doubt would bring about inconveniences to some patients and their families.
But since this would be a comparatively small number of people, and while I do believe the city should pay the costs of its patients in voluntary hospitals I also feel that we should not have to continue to support unnecessary facilities if they really are unnecessary.