JUNE 4, 1960
HYDE PARK—I was very glad to see in the thursday metropolitan paper that Mr. Adlai Stevenson had called for permanent "special/Peace and disarmament agency" under the Secretary of State. As he put it, this would be a "symbol of our determination to lead the world away from madness". His speach seems to me very significant because it is one of the first speaches made in which there has been set down some concrete points which he calls "a grand strategy for peace". I think the time has come when we should stop waiting and watching for what the Soviet Union will do next, and should make our own porposals and try to get strength back of them so that the objections, if they are will come from the Soviets and not from us. Europe is acting for improvement in non-nuclear military set ups in europe, evidently hoping that it will be possible to appeal to the common sense human beings that if force must be used it shall not be totally destructive. The last war, however, taught us long before its and that continued use of conventional armaments could bring war upon all the civilians of a country. and create as much havoc over a long period as we all know can be created in a matter of seconds by a nuclear weapon. The world is destroyed either way. The time has come to face the fact that when we know how to destroy totally if the madness seizes us we will do it totally.
On Wednesday night one of New York's plays was shut down. The difficulty seems to be on pensions, and the black-out on broadway seems to be inevitable. One hopes that this will not last long, for it seems as though pensions should be a part of all agreement, and of course to be in NY and have Broadway without theatres will seem very strange.
It has just been drawn to me that a booklet by Chester Bowles called "Agenda 1961: New Principles for a New Age" is being reprinted and disrtibuted by a group who believe that the "Ideas put forward in this booklet deserve a wide audience". You can order it by mail for the price of $1.00 from the Comitee on Agenda 1961, One Vanderbilt Avenue, NY 6. The Comitee will also make an effort to place it in bookstores. I think that at the present moment before we enter into the campaign it will be valuable to have the booklet before us. There is much in it that is worth pondering at the present time.
I went on Wednesday of last week to a meeting which is planning to rehabilitation of the interior of Carnagie Hall. They are going to try to raise to money to repaint everywhere throughout the building and put in new and brightly upholstered seats. I think it will make it much more attractive and much more comfortable. The acoustics will be unchanged, but it is going to be possible to put in some 500 extra seats which will add to the economic stability of the operation. I hope it will attract a greater number of people by its colorful interior rather than by the shabbiness which many of us may love but which is not exactly cheerful!