Crisis. Urgent. Desperate.

THESE terms dominated the conversation of ten big-city mayors after they met with Richard Nixon last week. The urban condition is all that they say it is, and their conference with the President left them little hope for dramatic new federal action very soon.

Nixon will not be easily budged from the premise that expensive, far-reaching social welfare efforts are futile if the war continues indefinitely or if the economy goes sour. Nor is Congress in the mood for grandiose programs right now. Viet Nam and inflation, together with crime and...

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