This episode is from the WNYC archives. It may contain language which is no longer politically or socially appropriate.
Sol Linowitz discusses the Executive Service Corps, modeled after the Peace Corps, the Executive Service Corps aims to help the foreign aid program by recruiting businessmen near retirement or unsatisfied in their current positions to work in commercial branches of young under developed nations.
Also discusses the struggle between Democratic nations and Communist nations to gain the allegiances of third world peoples.
Audio courtesy of the NYC Municipal Archives WNYC Collection
WNYC archives id: 70407
Municipal archives id: T210
This is a machine-generated transcript. Text is unformatted and may contain errors.
With. All to pull suffering and with active agents attempting to subvert whatever peaceful order there already is. To be here today at the at one of the important launchings the businessman's Peace Corps or as it is called the Executive Service Corps Some call it the senior Peace Corps is hopefully just as historic a moment. As the one in which one of our main guests here today Paul Hoffman was involved when the another plan for American aid to be out outside world was launched changing as we know the the history of Europe changing the history of our times that of course was the founding of the Marshall Plan and. None of us know whether or not the Executive Service Corps a brother organization of the Peace Corps will have this tremendous impact on the needy nations. Certainly I doubt that any of us here in this room hope for anything but the very best for this dramatic new initiative here with us today we have representatives of the Chase Manhattan Bank the Executive Service Corps tell us on the Business Council for International Understanding the Society for the advancement of management the National Industrial Conference Board the Council for International progress in management and. Also A.B.C. C.B.S. and N.B.C. television before asking Joe to introduce Mr Leno where I'd like to present the if he had table we have I would ask each to. We have Frank the vice president of the Overseas Press Club and publisher of. Seymour Pizer. Seymour snapped off. We have Seymour Pizer the assistant administrator of the of the Agency for International Development. We have Robert Benjamin the chairman of the board of United Artists. We have Paul Hoffman former administrator of the Marshall Plan and now head of the United Nations special fund and also of the United Nations economics policy board. From the other end of the table Bill Ryan vice president the press club. The vice president of A.B.C. our old friend Jim Haggerty. Joe Newman in a moment we'll make the introduction. Also there just two of the many people in the audience I'd like to introduce Robert bleeder the executive vice president and general manager of Wor. And Thomas Moore the president of the American Broadcasting Company. Joan Norman up program director. I'm sure you all know that one of the Among the critics of the foreign aid program have been a private businessman. And. It's only natural that that private enterprise should feel that anything government can do business can do better and very often that is the case. It was only natural then that. When this point was. Made time and again the government should have then challenge the businessmen to. Coming and going is very often happens in the case of foreign aid. Business men were were asked then if they were ready to come into the field and see if they could match or even outdo the good works of government and a group of businessmen then were invited down to Washington I believe you all know that and were asked if they were ready to undertake the job of doing something in the in the foreign aid field among them Course was Saul in a way it's who promptly put it down on a piece of paper and having committed some of his ideas to paper it was only natural then that many copies were drawn. And as the copies increased costs on this project the outlook for Xerox as well as from the companies became brighter all the time. Now of course. The government having propose that businessmen get into the stream with government on this very important undertaking. It was not too surprising that some of the businessmen suggested that a good way to begin who would be for the government to help finance the undertaking. So the government now has provided a certain amount of money that Mr Linna wittes and his cochairman David Rockefeller will have available to them to start the executive court now that the Executive Service Corps has undertaken to help. The foreign aid program it is logical that the government should be calling on the businessmen to help the government get the money from the Congress in order to make both of these projects work and you may have seen some of the latest or the latest report in the press this morning about a project that Mr Linna which is about to undertake and which I think he'll probably describe in his statement to you right now is to solve the noise. Thank you Mr Newman what I'm going to try to do in the course of these fairly brief remarks I know you do have a time problem and I'll try to take this into account and what I say in my preliminary comments is get at the questions that may be in your own minds about this whole idea and talk as succinctly as I can about precisely what we've got in mind and why and how we hope to go at it. Before I begin to tell you however what the. What the idea is what the Executive Service Corps is I ought to take a few minutes and make sure you understand what it is not. TASS had a dispatch on March thirtieth one thousand nine hundred sixty four which had duly appeared in Providence and said among other things this on the sixth of March in Washington an organizational committee was created which will begin to recruit American businessmen who are either retiring or are dissatisfied with their business careers they will work in commercial branches of the young underdeveloped nations and it went on and ends up with this sentence the businessmen core is a new net with which the monopolists of the United States are attempting to envelop young underdeveloped nations and to quote I give you my word that this is not an accurate characterization of what we're all about and if a repentant prophet a headline writer wants to correct it I suggest the headline at the net now. Another thing we're not is what was suggested I think in some of the introductory remarks we're not indicating that we the businessmen who are affiliated with this program are going to show the president the Congress the administration how to run a foreign policy and international development program. The fact is and this I want to say as clearly as I can what we have in mind in undertaking a project such as this one is rather simple we hope it will be a helpful valuable adjunct to our existing foreign aid and international development programs by making available in support of them what we regard as business and industry's most precious resource trained and capable human beings who will go over to the countries offer their services to private industry in these underdeveloped and developing lands and thereby make a contribution in behalf of our national and international objectives now that in a word is what we're all about you may be interested the way we say it. With the legal gobby gobbledygook and the Certificate of Incorporation which we're preparing Let me read you just these sentences because they set forth what we're trying to do to promote and assist economic growth and the wellbeing of the peoples of the world by fostering advancing and facilitating the development and utilization of effective executives managerial and technical skills and practices by commercial enterprises located in countries where such skills and practices are lacking or inadequate for sound economic growth OK that's what we're trying to do a proper question at the outset outset which might well be in your mind as far why should American business be undertaking this kind of a project or to put it in the parlance of our times what's in it for us you're entitled to a candid answer and I'm going to give it to you let me start with what may not necessarily be a wild assumption that American businessmen are about as intelligent as other average Americans that they recognize the kind of world in which we live and they know that we are confronted with what may be an unprecedented danger at the same time as we have before us an unprecedented opportunity we the businessmen of this country as well as other fairly intelligent Americans understand that we are in effect an island of affluence in a world in dire need and which is reaching out for a better life we recognise that two thirds of the people of this earth are. Are. Obviously in need of many things which we take for granted that these the people of the world are. Pressing in upon us they are no longer thousands of miles away but if you will just down the runway we know are that the prophetic words of H.G. Wells' may well be coming to pass at this moment that we are indeed in a race between civilization and catastrophe. And we understand therefore once we assume this fact that we just can't plan our own lives our own businesses our own futures without taking into account what's going on in the rest of the world around us Laos Vietnam the Congo are not strange names anymore this is so obvious to you forgive me for laboring the obvious with you but I'm trying to set forth not what you want to know but what is in the minds of those of us who have had an opportunity to think about what we are trying to accomplish we understand and we know that the future as we see it for ourselves for our families for our businesses for our country will in a very real measure reflect the future of these other millions of human beings on this earth I don't know about you it's probably easier for you because this is part of your life's work but it's very difficult for me to think in terms of the people of this world figures such as millions and billions I'll tell you what I do though and it's a trick which I think Stringfellow bar once used and I it's helped me get a picture of who the people of the world are in a way that I can understand and grasp the Population Research Institute in Washington recently revealed some figures which. Upon translation are I think a deeply meaningful way of seeing what the problem is before us let me put it to you this way because it means a lot to me the next sixty seconds where I'm standing here two hundred people are going to be born on this earth one hundred forty of them are going to be colored black brown yellow and red half of them are going to be dead before the ARE year old of those that survive about another half are going to be dead before they're sixteen. So that of the two hundred kids that are being born this moment as I stand here now about fifty will survive past their sixteenth birthday you take that group and multiply them by thousands and millions and you have a microcosm of the people of the world the human beings who are making up this universe which we're all inhabiting together and this is how they look they've got an age expectancy of about thirty years they're never going to learn to read or write they're going to till the soil working for landlords living in tents or mud huts they're going to lie naked under the open skies of Asia and Africa and Latin America wondering and watching and these are the human beings on this earth these are the people around us we know this we know this just as I say other intelligent we hope intelligent people know this and we know too that to them the people of the world there are presently offered two choices one we talk about is communism the other is democracy again the obvious which I want to state merely to make my point forgive me for taking your time to say communist is able of course to say what it has to say to make its point clearly effectively simply it says This accept three basic premises three ideas which are at the core of communism and we promise you a brighter world a world without change more food in your stomach more clothes on your back from a roof over your heads we'll provide all these things to you but join us make common cause accept these three postulates one dialectic materialism all that matters is matter itself to godlessness that there is no spiritual force which runs the affairs of men and third that the state will determine the will of the individual These are the three on the three core concepts of communism the things they talk about the things they try to get people to buy on the other side is this thing we call democracy. And precisely because we believe democracy is perfectible it resists this kind of easy definition I noticed yesterday that the president in talking to some youngsters from overseas made the point that it's hard to say what democracy is you can say where it is not but it's hard to say exactly what it is. And in this trying to convey the idea of democracy we use words we talk about equality and freedom and government of the people by the people for the people and very often we talk about free enterprise private enterprise the right of the individual. But we don't unhappily we don't somehow know how to translate this in terms which will be deeply meaningful to the people we're trying to tell about democracy apparent the tickly I thought William Faulkner who's. Whose prose is not always quotable in mixed company William Faulkner put together what might well be the best definition I know of of free enterprise when he said what he what we need in this country and power for us and what we need in this country is not fewer people but more room between them so that he who wants to stand on his own two feet can and he who does not want to might have to think is pretty good but in general we have we have not been putting across our notion of. What we're trying to accomplish and as a result one of the things one of the byproducts the fallout of this kind of an ability to express what we're really all about in this concept of democracy has been a great misrepresentation a misunderstanding of what American businesses are like because to so many people American business stands for free enterprise the common caricature we all know too well of the American businessman the capitalist aggressive. Concerned only with his own interests opposed to international programs you know the queen is about the American businessman who goes over to Paris and comes back and says he saw the Eiffel Tower and they say what does it look like and he says it looks like the Empire State Building after taxes Well you know this this this kind of business of. Of looking upon the American businessman as a as a narrow jingle list is all too prevalent a year ago last February I was a delegate to the United Nations Conference on science and technology Geneva. I was one of the very few business delegates to that conference and two things struck me and I came back in and talked about it. Let on how much interest there was on the part of the representatives of these underdeveloped countries in American business and how American business was operating and what it was doing and certainly Paul Hoffman of all the people in the world will know how accurate that is and the second was the constant inquiry why weren't there more American businessmen among the delegates at that conference where they're not interested in this whole program so I came back and as