What does the rest of the world expect of the U.S.? What is the U.S. going to do about it?
On the answers to those two questions will hang issues of war or peace, of economic reconstruction or declineindeed, the shape of the world for the next two or three decades. How the U.S. meets the international responsibilities its great power imposes on it will be determined not by one or two men but by the American people. In accepting its new role in world affairs the U.S. public has shown an unprecedented interest in the details of foreign policy.
In some communities that interest is keener than in others; in Cleveland, discussion of foreign affairs is probably more fully crystallized than in any other U.S. city. To call national attention to Cleveland's extraordinary civic achievement in this field and to help answer some questions all Americans are asking, TIME was glad to accept an invitation to become a co-sponsor of the 21st annual Institute of the Cleveland Council on World Affairs. The Institute will include five major sessions on Jan. 9, 10 and 11. Four of the meetings will be held in Cleveland's Public Music Hall (seating capacity: 3,000). Mayor Thomas A. Burke has appointed a committee of 84 leading Clevelanders to welcome the Institute and its speakers.
Among the foreign speakers will be Premier Alcide de Gasperi of Italy, Maurice Schumann, brilliant leader of France's progressive Mouvement Républicain Populaire, Uruguay's Foreign Minister Eduardo Rodriguez Larreta. Some significant U.S. views will be voiced by Cardinal Spellman, Navy Secretary Forrestal, Sumner Welles, and James Carey, Secretary-Treasurer of the C.I.O.
The U.S. Government's position in the world today is symbolized by two men, Secretary of State James F. Byrnes and Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg, co-authors of the bipartisan foreign policy. Both will speak at the Institute. Against a background of informed but unofficial U.S. views and of foreign reaction to U.S. policy, Byrnes and his Republican colleague will conclude the sessions with restatements of what the U.S. is trying to accomplish in the United Nations, the Council of Foreign Ministers and other organizations devised to make or keep the peace.
The sponsors of the Cleveland Institute call the forthcoming forum "A Report from the World" in the belief that study of the relationship between the U.S. and other countries is the most realistic and fruitful approach to worldwide international relations. Either a cynical assumption that the U.S. will drift back into isolationism or an over-optimistic belief that the U.S. will carry more than its share of the burden might retard for years the growth of a wholesome spirit of international cooperation. Both the U.S. and the rest of the world have much to learn about what each may expect of the other in the crucial years ahead.
"My ideal would be to produce a situation in which it could be said that every man, woman and child . . . understood the large outlineseconomic, racial, social and political of modern international relations. . . ."