OCR Interpretation


Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, January 21, 1961, Image 4

Image and text provided by Library of Congress, Washington, DC

Persistent link: https://chroniclingamerica.loc.gov/lccn/sn83045462/1961-01-21/ed-1/seq-4/

What is OCR?


Thumbnail for A-4

W Jnenittfl Jta
With Sunday Morning Edition
PubliriMd by
THt EVENING STAR NEWSPAPER COMPANY
WASHINGTON 3, D. C.
♦*
Samuel H. Kauffmann
President
Benjamin M. McKalway
fditor
- MAIN OFFICE: 2nd St. and Virginia Ave. S.E. (3)
EUROFEAN BUREAU—
, FARIS, FRANCE: 21 Rue De Berri
. ADVERTISING OFFICES—
‘ NEW YORK: 529 Fifth Ave. (17)
CHICAGO: 333 N. Michigan Ave. (1)
DETROIT: New Center Building (2)
SAN FRANCISCO: 111 Sutter St.
r LOS ANGELES: 3540 Wil.hire Blvd. (5)
MIAMI BEACH: 4014 Chare Ave. (40)
FARIS, FRANCE: 21 Due De Berri
» Delivered by Carrier
Evening and Sunday Sunday Evening
Monthly 2.25 For I true .20 Monthlyl.6o
Wadtly J5O Weekly.3s
Rates by Mail—Payable in Advance
Anywhere in the United States
Evening and Sunday Sunday Evening
lyear 28.00 1 year —.1200 1 yearlB.oo
6 monthsl4.so 6 months 6.50 6 months 925
3 months 7.30 3 months 3.30 3 months4.7s
1 month 2.60 1 month.l.so 1 month 2.00
Telephone: Lincoln 3-5000
Entered at the Fest Office, Washington, D. C.
as second-class mail matter.
Member of the Associated Press
.. The Associated tress is entitled exclusively to the use for
. republication of ell the local news printed in this newspaper
as well as A. F. nows dispatches.
A-4
SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 1961
Trumpet Call
It can hardly be said that America's
crossing of the New Frontier went un
marked by those small mischances
which remind us that, after all, we are
mortal men and subject to the frailties
which attend that estate. The elements,
tardiness, a lectern fire, the seemingly
inevitable human errors—all combined
to rock the boat a bit at the formal
launching of the Kennedy adminis
tration.
The unimportance, the insignifi
cance, of these things became apparent,
however, as the new President got into
|ils truly admirable Inaugural address.
TO be sure, it was just that—an address
and nothing more. No problems were
solved, no cold wars were won. But as a
general statement of aims and purposes
(which is all one should expect in an
inaugural address) this “trumpet sum
mons,” we thought, was a magnificent
performance.
To our established allies, Mr. Ken
nedy pledged good faith and encourage
ment. To the newly-emerging states he
Offered the hand of friendship without
demanding a quid pro quo. To the people
in the “huts and villages" he promised
our best effort to help them help them
selves. To our Latin American neighbors
Tie held forth the prospect of good deeds
to match good words, meanwhile posting
a keep-off sign for the benefit of Mr.
Khrushchev and company. To the United
Nations, which he called our “last best
hope in an age where the Instruments
of war have far outpaced the instru
ments of peace,” he renewed American
pledges of support to the end that its
shield may be strengthened.
■ There was also a word for those
, paeons “who would make themselves
pur adversary.” To these, Mr. Kennedy
proposed a new quest for peace “before
the dark powers of destruction
unleashed by science engulf all human
tty.” But if the men in the Kremlin had
hoped for some hint of irresolution,
come suggestion of appeasement, they
will not find it in this address.
■! It seems to us, however, that the *
main thrust of Mr. Kennedy’s Inaugural
talk was directed, not to the world, but
to the people of the United States.
Recalling our revolutionary inheri
tance, the President said a “new
generation of Americans” will not per
mit the “slow undoing of those human
Tights to which this Nation has always
been committed.” Let every nation
{(now, he declared, that we shall pay
any price, bear any burden, meet any
hardship, support any friend or oppose
any foe in order to assure the survival
and success of liberty. And this was his
message to his fellow Americans: “Ask
ndt what your country will do for you
—ask what you can do for your country.”
* Necessarily, or so it seems to us,
Ebvious questions arise. Was Mr. Ken
edy indulging in an exercise in rhetoric,
or was what he said true? When the
hqneymoon is over and the cruel
'domestic political pressures begin to
bear down upon him, when the price of
Assuring the survival of liberty has to
b< counted in terms of a real risk of war,
.will we still hear the trumpet call from
Mr. Kennedy? And if the call comes, will
the American people ask, not what will
be done for them, but what they can
do for their country?
1 We hope that all such questions, if
the test comes, will be answered affirma
tively and without disastrous delay.
But it is too early now for answers,
much less for rosy self-assurance. Mr.
Kennedy still has to prove himself.
And if we read correctly the forecast for
the future which is implicit in his
inaugural address, so do the American
people.
A Friend in Interior
Not infrequently, high officials of
the Federal Government, in addition to
' the other requirements of their Jobs,
take a deep personal interest in the
affairs of the District of Columbia, and
make significant contributions to the
city during their tenure in Washington.
Speh an official was Fred A. Seaton, the
retiring Secretary of the Interior, whose
performance in this respect, we hope,
Will be a guide to his successor, Stewart
U Udall.
More than any other individual,
for example, Mr. Seaton was responsible
for ending the seemlngly-intermlnable
dispute over the Theodore Roosevelt
Bridge. This was accomplished, not by
any dictatorial edict, but by a direct
and reasonable mediation of the issues
•. with the District Commissioners. The
establishment of this personal working
relationship, furthermore, led to a
general improvement in resolving other
differences between officials of the
District and the department In our
opinion, Mr. Seaton can take pride in a
number of accomplishments as a
member of the Eisenhower adminis
tration. As he returns to his home and
newspaper Interests in Nebraska, he also
can be assured that Washingtonians
will fondly remember him for his
services to the Nation’s Capital.
Ready to Negotiate
Almost anything different from the
record of the past six years could be con
sidered improvement in the long and
bloody Algerian crisis. It seems encour
aging, therefore, that both the rebel
leadership and the French cabinet have
now made public announcement of their
sympathetic Interest in direct negotia
tions. While each such expression has
been guarded and even slightly hedged,
most notable is a new mildness and lack
of belligerence in the official statements.
Basically, the proposal of the so
called provisional government, head
quartered in nearby Tunis, appears to
be a conciliatory gesture of support for
President DeGaulle’s own efforts, and
progress, toward applying some reason
ableness to this vexing problem. In brief,
the position of the French president is
one of favoring an orderly process of
self-determination for the North African
department, and on January 8 he won a
solid indorsement of this moderate and
realistic policy from the French elec
torate. Not illogically, perhaps, the pro
visional Algerian government cites this
Indorsement as evidence that majority
French sentiment favors a negotiated
settlement of the conflict.
On one point, the possibility of
setting up a new provisional adminis
tration in Algeria before a referendum
on self-determination is held, the Tunis
government stated its disapproval. Such
a step, it said, would amount to an
"Imposed” pre-determination that could
only help to prolong the war. At the
same time, it added that it recognized
the need of transitional institutions
and that it would exclude nothing from
a negotiation agenda. Left unclear was
the question of whether the National
Liberation Front, the rebel government,
would continue to insist that the French
army must withdraw from Algeria in
advance of the referendum —a point
on which President DeGaulle previously
has Indicated he would not yield.
Both from Paris and Tunis there
were suggestions, attributed to so-called
informed sources, that the next step
probably would be taken secretly rather
than publicly in the form of direct pre
negotiation communication between
President DeGaulle and the rebel
leaders. If it is in fact their mutual
wish to find away toward a settlement,
there may be merit in setting up a
bargaining table behind closed doors.
For much too long, this crisis has been
fought out to no conclusion in the public
squares of Algiers or in the stark desert
hills of the North African countryside.
Chairman Seaborg
In naming Dr. Glenn T. Seaborg to
succeed the able John A. McCone as
chairman of the Atomic Energy Com
mission, President John F. Kennedy has
brought into his official family one of
the world’s truly great nuclear scientists
—a 48-year-old American long since
recognized internationally as a giant
in his field.
This recognition first came on a
grand scale in 1951 when Dr. Seaborg,
then only 39 years old, won the Nobel
Prize in chemistry (along with Dr.
Edwin M. McMillan) for his brilliant
work Involving the discovery of
numerous new elements. These elements
Include plutonium, an all-important
ingredient of nuclear weapons, and his
labors in connection with it have given
him a firm and rather large place in
history as a key figure in the develop
ment of the dread bomb that opened
up the equally promising and menacing
epoch of the atom.
Another measure of the remarkable
Dr. Seaborg is the fact that in 1959 he
was chosen to receive the Enrico Fermi
Award—a $50,000 prize, plus a medal and
a citation, that constitutes the highest
official honor our country bestows for
personal achievement in nuclear science.
There can be no doubt about his apti
tude or genius in that respect, and the
American people have reason to feel
gratified that a man of his caliber—
the first scientist in the AEC’s history
to be nominated as chairman—has
agreed to give up his chancellorship of
the University of California at Berkeley
in order to take over his new atomic
duties.
Dr. Seaborg, who has six children,
and who plays games like golf, and who
dislikes people who equate scientists
with such stereotypes as the doddering
professor, seems superbly equipped for
his prospective new office. Needless to
say, it is an office of high importance,
not least of all because the head of it
will be one of Mr. Kennedy’s top advisers
on such questions as whether or not to
resume nuclear testing—questions that
have a life-or-death bearing on our na
tional existence at a time when Nikita
Khrushchev keeps on threatening to
bury us and the entire free world.
In many respects, Mr. K.’s menacing
talk is wearing a bit thin. However,
as indicated by his 20,000-word speech
recently made public, he feels confident
that Communist global domination is
just around the corner. Accordingly it
will be the task of the American people
during Mr. Kennedy’s administration
—lncluding such agencies as the AEC
under Dr. Seaborg—to make clear to the
Kremlin that it will be gambling most
dangerously if it underestimates our
country’s resolve to remain free and
support like-minded lands against Red
infiltration and aggression.
l i L t t
I imTrir u M OHS® *
kl /J I W I O ~ .
pSfegsf I -taliSiS 1 ; S 7
lIISSSB WpSßf
firs'
——
yQSSSfr
I
He's Still Pointing ... at You!
LETTERS TO THE STAR
Vesteryear's Parades
There are very few people
now alive who saw what my
mother did in the way of pa
rades.
As a young girl she lived
with her father and mother
in a very select hotel, the
Tremont House which grand
father opened during the
Civil War. Here in Washing
ton she watched from her
window the campfires of the
troops across the river. Here
she was courted and won by
a young naval officer sta
tioned on the blockade, who
occasionally stopped at Tre
mont House. And here she
saw the parade that was to
live in her memory through
out her life and make all
other parades look small.
When the war was over,
the Union Army paraded be
fore the President. Their
banners were tattered, their
uniforms were ragged and
dirty, but they had won.
And they marched before
the President for two long
days. Occasionally a woman
would leave the ranks of the
onlookers because she re
membered Johnny was not
in his place and she could
not keep tears back. But
the men who had survived
the struggle cheered heartily
for the President they had
served so well.
She was married to the
young Naval Officer in 1867
and lived herself to be '97,
but never looked on another
parade.
Years later when Theodore
Roosevelt was being inaugu
rated, it snowed the day be
fore. stopping about mid
night. It cleared up in the
morning into a bright, sunny
day. so a party of us went
down to the grandstand and
secured tickets. We were
very early so we saw an army
of hose-wagon men turn the
snow into a flood, and an
other army of street-sweep
ers stretching across the ave
nue, clear the water away
until even the West Pointers
could march without fear of
soiling their boots. Then the
Annapolis men. After a while
two bands appeared, widely
separated from each other
so that their different notes
would not clash. In the mid
dle of this open space, a
good-sized black and white
dog was walking all by him
self. The spectators laughed
at him but applauded him
also. Soon the first band be
gan to play. At the first note
of ‘‘Hail to the Chief,” the
dog looked straight at the
President and bowed his head
three times, barking as loud
as he could each time. The
President laughed and
clapped his hands. Then the
dog, wagging his tail like a
plume, ran up to the end
man, saying quite under
standlngly “I did that very
well.” The owner was pleased,
also, for he stopped playing
music to pet the dog’s head.
That is my best remem
brance of the parades.
Edith B. Lowe.
Billboard Fan
I read with a sense of
nausea and disgust your edi
torial entitled ‘‘Billboards:
Keep Off I”
A billboard is not a mere
sign which is impotent, or
important, in itself. Bill
boards are merely one of the
several mediums used to sell
the commodities of our econ
omy. A billboard is an ad
vertisement. Billboard ad
vertisements sell things.
The billboard advertise
ment conveys to the passing
public that the advertised
product or service is desir
able, and that it is available;
that it originates from an
Identifiable source, and is
proffered to the public by
an identified owner who seeks
the public’s good will.
The laws of need created
billboard advertising, and
these same laws will protect
it. This medium of outdoor
advertising has been built up
at great expense, and over a
long period of time is Imbued
with good will. This good
will is based on the confi
dence of our society—who will
surely speak loud and per
suasively to protect what it
has helped to create.
Stan Stanton.
Pen names may be used if
letters carry writers’ correct
names and addresses. All let
ters are subject to condensa
tion. Those not used will be
returned only when accom
panied by self - addressed,
stamped envelopes.
FAA Not Careless
The letter "Air Safety De
vices” by Joseph Zallen in
your January 10 issue came
as a surprise to me, inasmuch
as our organization is an in
dustry member of the Colli
sion Prevention Advisory
Group (COP AG) that is
maintained by the Federal
Aviation Agency. The accu
sation that the FAA has
deliberately turned down
BESAC. which Mr. Zallen
apparently considers to be
"an anti-collision device
suitable for both planes and
ships” startled me because,
as a member of COPAG, I
have spent quite a bit of time
studying what some people
might consider screwball
ideas, just on the off-chance
that there might be the germ
of a practical device or sys
tem in that idea. Until read
ing Mr. Zallen’s letter I had
never heard of BESAC.
I can only say at this point
that, to my personal knowl
edge, the FAA has been most
conscientious in pursuing and
studying any reasonable idea
—and a few that often ap
pear unreasonable. A number
of our 87.000 members have
sent in idea suggestions, and
every one has been given
careful consideration and a
conscientious answer. The
same has been true of ideas
from such groups as the air
line companies, airline pilots,
radio and electronics manu
facturers, all branches of the
military (who turned over
their projects dealing with
the problem to COPAG when
it was formed), and a wide
variety of inventors.
It is true, of course, that
you get yourself educated on
those areas without promise
after a while, and you can
safely turn down duplicates
of already-discarded ideas.
That does not mean, how
ever, that the idea itself has
been arbitrarily rejected
without sound reason. I am
positive that, if BESAC had
been what Mr. Zallen casual
ly says it is, it would have
gotten careful study by all of
us who are seeking some
practical solution to the col
lision problem.
Max Karant,
Vice President Aircraft Own
ers and Pilots Association.
Dollar Solution?
The gold drain problem
could be solved by the tem
porary imposition of a 10 per
cent tax on all dollars being
traded for gold by foreign
businessmen. Thus, on a
transaction involving $lO mil
lion, the tax would be $1 mil
lion. Faced with this, foreign
Interests would quickly re
gain confidence in the dollar.
The tax would be a tempo
rary measure (for a period of
not more than two years) un
til the United States can find
ways to cut spending abroad
and keep more American
dollars at home.
John C. Goolrick
For Modern Zoning
Reference is made to your
editorial of January 13, 1961,
in which you quote Director
William Finley of the Na
tional Capital Planning Com
mission as suggesting the
tossing of the D. C. zoning
ordinance in the waste paper
basket. I would like to add
my wholehearted indorse
ment of this idea.
As was predicted in the en
actment of the new zoning
ordinance, millions of dollars
of tax money has been chased
from the District of Columbia
into Maryland and Virginia.
Not only did we lose this
much-needed revenue but, in
building these new structures,
in most cases, it would have
meant demolishing the old
worn-out, low-taxed struc
tures and replacing them
with fine modern buildings.
I believe the time has come
when our present zoning reg
ulations should be abandoned
and a new zoning code adopt
ed which would be more real
istic as to the needs of the
city.
Alvin L. Aubinoe.
Defends Schools
Every year when the ques
tion of Federal aid to educa
tion comes up, its opponents
use the same tactics. They dig
up some repulsive quotation
taken out of context from an
obscure textbook. Then they
say, "See—all educators are
teaching this subversive ma
terial. We can’t afford to
give them more money.”
Constantine Brown’s arti
cle on January 12 follows this
customary approach. It seeks
to turn public opinion against
the schools, and hence against
giving them the desperately
needed money, by giving two
quotes which appear repug
nant to public opinion.
Those who are close to
education know that there
has been a tremendous surge
of growth and enthusiasm in
our schools in recent years.
Wise and knowledgeable criti
cism, such as that supplied by
the Council for Better Educa
tion; Russian scientific gains,
and a growing public realiza
tion that all children need
more and better education
in today's world, are respon
sible. Community response,
in the form of moral support
and cash, have helped many
school districts to go forward.
But many areas are finan
cially unable to go ahead
Their children, among whom
may be potential leaders in
every field of American life,
are condemned to over
crowded schools with under
trained teachers, no libraries,
and outdated textbooks. Even
the richest areas could greatly
increase the opportunities for
their children if they had
more money to spend.
I would like to see The
Star counteract Mr. Brown's
reactionary twaddle with a
series of articles on the fine
new and improved programs
in reading, mathematics,
science, languages, etc. in
area schools, including the
plans which cannot be put in
to effect, or spread to all chil
dren, because of the lack of
cash. This would really be
a help to develop an informed
public opinion on the sub
ject of Federal aid to educa
tion.
Hannah M. Biemiller.
Tells John Bull
When I read the article
dated London, January 10,
that the London Mail, "today
called for American aid to
relieve starvation in Com
munist China, and asked
that President-elect Kennedy
make this one of the first
programs in his new Govern
ment,” I wondered why the
United Kingdom, which rec
ognized Red China in 1950,
can’t start moving some of
their own supplies to the re
ported starving people of Red
China, instead of throwing
the onus on Uncle Sam.
The United States can
make its own decisions in
such matters without the
sugary advice of outsiders.
Herman M. Young.
Friend of the Wild
One of the arguments ad
vanced by hunters to justify
the killing of wild animals
is that the killing is neces
sary in order to prevent the
animals from getting too
numerous. But then, is it
necessary to do this killing in
the merciless way that fre
quently occurs in hunting?
Is there not a more humane
way to do it?
Since there are now ways
to capture most wild animals
without injury to them, why
can’t excess animals in any
area be so captured and
humanely disposed of? Cer
tainly this would be more
merciful than blasting them
to death by hunting. The fact
is. from a humane standpoint
it would be better to exter
minate the animals all at one
time than to continue the
present annual slaughter of
them by hunting.
It appears that human
beings (who have the ability
to reason) would realize that
there already is enough pain
and suffering in the world
without them unnecessarily
causing more of it, which
is what they do when they
shoot wild birds and animals
at random with guns and
bows and arrows.
Mildred L. Sherman.
THE POLITICAL MILL
By GOULD LINCOLN
Kennedy's History-Making Address
President John F. Ken
nedy’s inaugural address is
an inspiration to Americans,
to the peoples of the free
world and to those peoples
who are struggling for free
dom and a better life. At
the same time, without saber
rattling, President Kennedy
has warned the Communist
bloc against aggression—and
subversion—and has held
out to the Communists a
promise to seek better under
standing, better relations and
a peaceful world.
The youngest President of
the United States ever elected
to office in this address
has shown a remarkable
maturity, a keen sense of
the true values, a willing
ness to lead a crusade for
peace with justice, a de
termination not to yield to
aggression, and a willingness
to support our old friends and
allies. One of the briefest,
if not the briefest inaugural
addresses ever delivered by
an incoming President, Mr.
Kennedy spoke only as an
American—not as a political
partisan. He addressed him
self to the greatest problem
which confronts this Nation
and the world today—the
problem of a peace that will
survive in this atomic age.
The address is a strong
statement of the new Presi
dent’s beliefs in the United
States, in God and all the
spiritual values which have
made this country great. His
pledges of support to our
allies of the free world must
be reassuring. His declara
tion that the Monroe Doc
trine, with its insistence that
the Western Hemisphere
shall never be dominated by
any European. Asiatic or Af
rican power or combination
of powers constitutes a
warning to Soviet Premier
Khrushchev and to the Red
Chinese that this country
will not tolerate efforts to
take over any American na
tions by force or subversion.
It should be a warning to Fi
del Castro and his pro-Com
munist government in Cuba.
A Warning and a Plea
Premiers Khrushchev and
Castro both have expressed
views that with the incom
ing of the Kennedy admin
istration it will be possible to
establish better relations
with the United States. Mr.
Kennedy has now. with
broad strokes, indicated the
road by which better rela
tions with the Communists
may be attained. To those
nations which Mr. Kennedy
said “would make themselves
our adversary” he made no
pledge, except that we would
always speak from a posi
tion of strength, not weak-
VISTAS IN SCIENCE
By THOMAS R. HENRY
Space Matter Could Imperil Earth
Obtaining a sample of exo
terrestrial life could be the
outstanding scientific tri
umph of a super-triumphant
generation.
On the other hand, it might
be an overwhelming disaster
for all living things on earth
—especially men. This Mars
life or Saturn-life could be
completely malignant and run
amok in a virgin field where
it would meet no resistance.
Enterprises in exo-biology,
the National Academy of
Sciences Space Committee
warns, must be undertaken
with full realization of the
immense dangers. Even a
few ounces of the moon
brought to earth could be
devastating.
Through the past 4 or 5
billion years the millions of
kinds of terrestrial organisms
with diverse needs and di
verse interests have struck,
up ■ some sort of balance so”
that, after a fashion, they
can live together. It isn’t,
everybody knows, a very har
monious family. Both ani
mals and plants must eat
each other, but they ere re
stricted from going to the
ultimate extremes by the con
stantly reforming balances.
Lions eat rabbits. The more
they eat. the fewer rabbits,
the less food for lions, 'ewer
lions and eventually a revival
of rabbits.
Threat of New Germs
The major conflicts, of
course, are not between lions
and rabbits, or tigers and
men, or cows and grass.
They are between all these
higher organisms and the in
visibly minute, mostly single
celled bacteria, protozoa and
viruses which cause devast
ating epidemics. They are
living entities—as much so
as elephants or orioles. They
must eat to live.
Here also balances of a
sort have evolved. Malignant
bacteria cannot live if they
destroy their means of liveli
hood. It long has been rec
ognized, for example, that
epidemics run their courses
and die out. Meantime, they
may kill a few million people.
Furthermore, single-celled or
ganisms are preyed upon by
other single-celled organisms.
There are worse wars in the
invisible world than in the
visible one.
Gigantic, horned, savage
man-like creatures from Jupi
ter will not invade earth.
More dangerous Jovian pro
tozoa very well might do ex
actly that, if given a foothold
on this planet. Man might
be responsible for the same
outcome in another world.
The first astronaut should be
thoroughly sterilized. Otner-
ness. But he said he would
make a “request" that both
sides begin anew “the quest
for peace, before the dark
powers of destruction un
leashed by science engulf all
humanity in planned or ac
cidental suicide.” He sug
gested to these adversaries
that civility is not a sign of
weakness. And most signifi
cantly he said that “sincerity
is always subject to proof.”
He might have said, and did
in effect say, uhat if the
Communist nations wanted
peace really wanted peace
—they would have to prove
it by their acts, not merely
by words, written or spoken.
Reassuring
Mr. Kennedy’s inaugural
address should be strong re
assurance to all the people of
America and the free world
that he does not intend to be
blinded by the Communists
bearing gifts. But it should
also convince the Communist
leaders that he is willing to
discuss the problems that
divide their nations from the
free world today, and to seek
to improve the international
situation. He suggested that
both sides formulate serious
and precise proposals for the
inspection and control of
arms—as a sine qua non for
real disarmament.
To those who may have
expected him to outline a
program of legislation to
meet domestic needs, the new
President’s inaugural may be
a disappointment. His pro
posals will be made later.
Yesterday he concerned him
self with the question that
has filled the minds and
hearts of many peoples, all of
whom wish for peace. He has
said his piece to the Khru
shchevs and Mao Tse-tungs
of the Communist world.
With wisdom, he has said to
these Communist leaders that
the time has come to begin
lest the human race be
destroyed.
President Kennedy made
no promise of speedy solu
tions of the international
troubles. Indeed, he said such
solutions are not to be
expected within the first
hundred days of his admin
istration, within the first
thousand days, his whole ad
ministration or for genera
tions to come. But he urged
all the American people to
support the effort for world
peace.
Mr. Kennedy’s delivery of
his inaugural address was
important for its vigor and
sincerity. He has made a
great impression on all those
who heard him, both in this
country and abroad. His
speech will go down in history
as one of the most eloquent
appeals ever made by a public
figure of great importance.
wise he might carry to Mars
terrestrial germs against
which Martians, plant or
animal, would have no de
fense.
Humans have lived with
diphtheria germs for several
million years. They have built
up a degree of natural im
munity to them, greatly sup
plemented in the days of
modern medicine by con
ferred immunity. They never
have lived with Venus-germs
or moon-germs. These might
be bacterial-like forms made
of flourine or glass, not car
bon and water. They might
well be completely immune
to anything earthy and
earthy organisms would have
built up no immunity against
them.
New Disease Hazard
“While early traffic to the
planets will be one-way," says
the National Academy report,
“we must anticipate the ca
pability of round trip and
even of manned space flight.
The return of samples to
earth exposes us to hazard
of contamination by foreign
organisms. Since we are not
yet quite certain of the real
existence of planetary, i.e.
Martian, organisms and know
nothing of their properties
it is extremely difficult to
assess the risk of the event.
The most dramatic hazard
would be introduction of a
new disease.
“What we know of the bi
ology of infection makes this
an extremely doubtful possi
bility. Most disease-producing
organisms must evolve very
elaborate adaptations to en
able them to resist the active
defenses of the human body,
to attack our cells, and to
pass from one person to an
other. However, a converse
argument can be put that
we have evolved our specific
defenses against terrestrial
bacteria and we might be less
capable of coping with or
ganisms that lacked proteins
and carbohydrates.
“Exo-biota are more likely
to be weeds than parasites,
to act on our agriculture and
the general comfort of our
environment, or to be per
vasive nuisances rather than
acute aggressors. However,
even the remotest risk of
pandemic disease, and the
greater likelihood of serious
economic nuisance must dic
tate a stringent embargo on
the premature return of plan
etary samples. At present the
prospect for treating a re
turning vehicle are at best
marginal by comparison with
the immensity of the risks.”

xml | txt