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I think education is such a basic problem for the United States. I think that we must improve the educational standards of boys and girls no matter where they may be no matter what the color of their skin may be. I don't think an innocent child in Mississippi our New Orleans our little rock should suffer at all because of some philosophy that his elders or a school board may have. Now if we are going to get on with education let's get on with it. But the surest way that we will deprive this country of the educational excellence that it has if we start putting all the other problems that we face as a nation on the back of education. And since I am interested in education and I am fighting for a better education America. I want to fight against everything that I think will hold back education. The voice you have just heard is that of Abraham Ribicoff United States secretary of Health Education and Welfare. The statement was made at the secretary's first press
conference held in Washington D.C. in February. The remainder of that press conference in a moment. This program is one of a series arranged by the Washington office of the National Association of educational broadcasters and recorded with the cooperation of the United States Information Agency. Now the first question to Secretary ripped off. Was a. Long. Long. Long. Day. If. Your. All didn't. Believe you believe that powered house or. Various or three ministries might be very hard work are coming along for
a very huge part of your If someone refuses. Three year old well frankly I haven't seen them all in my conversations with the heads of most of the departments concerning what they were driving at and what their hopes and aspirations were. They seem to be consistent with policies that I would maintain but to say whether I would have. A goal 10 years from now formulated by my predecessor I wouldn't be quite so I think there are many things just a field of education. The goal of President Kennedy is a different goal than the goal of President Eisenhower. The goal in the field of health for the Aging is a different goal than President Eisenhower.
So when you talk about goals a direction certainly of this administration are different directions and the previous administration has not. Do we know this in the States. It is my hope and it is and the message on the bill indicates that this really is a state's rights bill. Their federal government will practice will have very very little control whatsoever over any of the programs these programs of special educational needs will be programs a screened in approach by the state administration itself. It would be submitted of course to the United States Commission of Education to see if it satisfies criteria
for an example it would be very obvious if they were building a rural school and and they said they wanted to build a new road to go to that school. And at this was a special need. Well I would doubt that under our intent that you could use this money to build that road. So basically there will be a very very a little controller into Ferentz by the federal government in any of these programs. These good files could be used and we would hope they would be used to break some new ground to have some imagination to bring new leadership in the entire field of education. Every state has different problems. New York City might have a problem with slum areas and the problems that it would have in relation to children that come out of slum areas. Another area might have a special problem in
rural districts. Another problem in another area might want to do something about the children of migrant workers. Another area might decide that they want to do something for the mentally retarded child. Another school district or an area might want to institute a program of excellence for the children of superior intelligence to combine let us say the last year the first year of a college education in the last year of high school. So it is very very broad to take care of any specific educational need decided by the state. In view of a very very broad criteria standard set up by the federal government. Yes but it will be with your in every state.
Let me give you a we try to do that yesterday at the briefing. Ralph land let me say this that so we can understand one another. I don't know all the answers. I don't know how long it will take me to ever know them all my hunches I never wail. I will not hesitate to tell you that I don't know something of I don't know it however if you ask me a question out in a field that I don't know. That doesn't mean you're not entitled to the answer will try to find it out for you as fast as we can. Now since it is complicated and Ralph Flint is much more knowledgeable than I am Ralph would you please try to explain it to explain this. Whole relationship for the men and will. Never. Leave their men to give
us a view that. I really only remember the building. Yes I am opposed to this amendment. My philosophy is this. I believe in the decision of the Supreme Court. I believe that it has a legal basis as well as a moral basis. However my job is education. I believe deeply that we have to move forward in the field of education and I can't imagine any greater tragedy for America than to try to put on the backs of education and impede its progress by trying to solve every problem that be sets our society over and through and under blocking going ahead in the field of education. And it would be my hope that we could move ahead in the field of education north south east and west for white and Negro alike. The problems that come under civil rights are problems that we are going to have to face as a people
that this problem will have to be faced by the Congress by those in the executive branch and in the states themselves. But it would be my hope that we would not be able to block education with any other side issues no matter how important they are. I would like to see the issue presented to the Congress of the American people. Are you are are you are not for improvement in the field of education and do you or do you not believe that the federal government should play a role and not try to bring up many of the side issues from year to year which hides the real intent and the purposes of those who are for or against a bill. Yes I think that has helped her to break the arc. All right I know this is it and I don't know what answer the Defense Department gave Starr so I can tell you that this happens to be my answer you can draw any allusion that you want but I think it's a different problem entirely. You write My position is the position of that of the present the
United States has set out his message today. Yes it. Will. Help with. Research. It is it is good it is contemplated that there would be an institute that would encompass eventually the entire spectrum of human life from the child right through the adult to the aging. Well I would say that certainly if you can the companies that can cut if you can encompass it in one there's no sense of setting up another a duplicate agency cost a lot of money we'd like to save it if we can.
Yes it would. You know here are a few US are thinking of me the individual who regards this on the day you rejoice even a friend. Hello. I let her know the deal. I would say that certainly weighed out to contemplate that they can go to a hospital that isn't an accredited hospital. I would say Here it is our intention to rely heavily upon the states for accreditation and approval of proper hospital facilities. But this we certainly would expect people to go to proper hospitals. But in the but let's say that in a community you have two hospital or five hospitals a patient could choose his own hospital. If you have five accredited institutions. Oh yes. Give me the bill. You will be relieved. We'll bring you some.
No I would say that there would be an arrangement between the federal government and the hospital upon what the reasonable charges that hospitals have under these circumstances. There are comparable arrangements with the governments with Blue Cross with various plans today and it works out fairly well I think that the American Hospital Association understands this and the people in Social Security understand this and I do not contemplate that this will be a basic problem. Yes ma'am. If you know that will be how many people over 65 could take care of their own needs in the first point. You never know for me to really come up with like the right.
One for a. Younger guy he doesn't know there's any way. It's not. How much of an answer but I think that now the. Vice President of an insurance company who is a good friend of mine who'd always been against these programs and he used to argue very very vehemently with me and his father in law was ill with cancer in the hospital and the weeks got into months and the months went over a year and the cost became so burdensome that his father in law's entire sum of money was used up and they started to dip in very heavily into his own reserves and the realisation of what an illness may cost. Basically my own philosophy on this is this. This can be a great burden what I'm interested in the indigent somehow the state always
takes care of the people of great wealth are always taken care of. But you do have a great body of people in America I think the overwhelming number of self-respecting hardworking people who spend a lifetime. On a job and during the during this lifetime they have bought a home and paid off the mortgage and a house is worth ten or twelve thousand dollars they have two or three thousand dollars in the bank and suddenly they are stricken with a very serious illness that places one or both of them in the hospital for a long stay then they suddenly find that they have to mortgage or sell their house and use up their savings. And there could be no greater tragedy for a person who has worked hard who was overwhelmed with their own home who has been unable to save a few dollars in the savings bank suddenly found it finding themselves destitute and bereft in the waning years of their lives. I mean I think we are interested in people like this and this represents the overwhelming number of Americans now their $10000 home with their $5000 in a bank might under statistics you would say they could afford to
pay for an illness. But if they were struck by a major illness with a large cost of hospital care today then they wouldn't be able to take care of the illness. I mean yes ma'am. Yes well I would say this. I mean you asked this question yesterday and I think it as I showed you then it's a legitimate question yesterday's legitimate question today. The bill will contain provisions on the impacted areas the amount and conditions of that particular phase of the program has not been decided. As of this press conference just to make it clear because of some of the questions I asked at the White House yesterday at the briefing this 10 percent is not intended to be a substitute for that. There will be a program and that program will be spelt out in the bill that will be presented sometime this
week. I think what Wednesday is a holiday and a few things have to be ironed out in the bill and and some of the problems the conditions of the amount of what goes the impacted areas are also problems that haven't been quite decided as of now. Not long now I would say definitely won't go tomorrow. Yes or. Whatever you know. They think oh. I would say this I mean you people and anyone can say whatever they want. The only thing that I have said that any basic decision I'd like to know about it first before I read in the paper. That's the only state that's the only directive and I think that is one of the things I learned as a governor I mean I hated to be called 3 o'clock in the morning by a newspaper man asking me a question and I never heard of it. So they can
issue it but I'd like to know it before you fellows know it's OK to call me up I can give you an answer. I and you are Snell and I will and I cannot. That I know of someone as Jack Bell asked me on Meet the Press about all these new people I started to think of. Of all the people outside of presidential appointments I brought in and out of 70000 of pool employees I think I could point to there were four there was John Newman and Wally Turner and Phil dam or a and Jamaican and now best Berman. If you want to call these all political appointees This is the extent of my political appointees out of 70000 people. But as you know they the people you deal with on a day to day basis they are here and I would gather the overwhelming number of them and then we'll be here. My feeling is at the very nature of this department is such that it is beyond politics that
almost all of the over well the overwhelming number of jobs should be handled under civil service procedures that have pertain for many years. I have been I have been and I am impressed with the caliber and quality of the career people in this department and I hope that we can continue to have a department of the same caliber. Well I mean I got the directive today sorry I will try to do it is as soon as I can gather together thoughtfully at the people in this field. I I happen to believe very deeply in vocational education. I think that this is a most important phase of the educate overall education problems of our nation. I believe that the time has come to update vocational education in America. I am very anxious to get on with the job and I hope to be able to get this group together as soon as possible following the directive of
the president very much the right amount of the help that will be provided. There is nothing you know that you didn't like the other prisons overseas but in general that you find a great pleasure I think that the administration bill has been very carefully and thoughtfully worked out both for benefits to be received and fiscal and actuarial a responsibility and I do believe that the bill that we brought together is a proper bill taking into account the actuarial projection and what you can buy for one half send Social Security tax and I would and it would be my recommendation that we stick with that.
RICK PERRY Yes. Oh boy all right. You're there could be situations where federal funds be withheld from the schools but I think you can see there's a situation here. If I don't I don't know of any right that I have or power that the secretary has at the present time. I do know this that when a man takes an executive position he is really two people I mean there are his own ideas and his own philosophy and there is also the duty that he has to carry out the Constitution of the laws of the United States of America. And when Congress passes a law that says you do this you do it whether you believe the law is sound or is unsound. Now I know of nothing in the law at the present time that would allow the secretary to deny Fons
to any school district to any public school district in the United States. I don't I don't know that the president can do this this I don't know either whether there's any law that allows a president to do this. I can't speak for the president but I don't know that whether there's anything that I can do a secretary. That he has you know the president hasn't asked me about this. I have asked for all the information that is available on all these questions I'm just interested in it personally. I am curious about it and interested in it. But I know of no general program in existence at the present time I think in the any any DNA there is a provision that no loans would be denied to any student because of race color creed or religion.
I think in this message that we have that the president sent out sent up today concerning scholarships. There was a statement in there that nobody would be. No one should be denied a scholarship because of race color creed or religion. So there you have it spelled out. But outside of having it spelled out I don't know of any specific and he specific place where this can be done now. Again I don't know of all the details and all the laws if there are any specific ones that you know about that I don't know about I would be I would welcome to be informed of this. Well I would say under the president's program we as I would say and I would say under the president's program this would be a private school and not a public school it wouldn't be counted in the grant the grant is for average daily attendance to public schools.
What you were talking about would be a private school serve problem with Kelly Price will probably be easy but I would say I think very well. Hello sir. And I let her run for president. Yeah. I well my feeling is that the secretary Fleming was correct in that decision. Yes sir. Good evening. You mean you're all changing. You know me pretty mayor and. I would say that what Mr. Mills introduced represents my position and the administration's position now.
Yes. That's right. I would say with that the situation with the recession and the number of people out of work I would say that the position taken on that bill is sound as of today. Yesterday the president has proposed that he will run at any price to be relieved of the sentence without the book. Not at all I mean since the ADA is specifically designed to help in the construction public schools and the payment of teachers salaries in public schools then this is the test that you go by and there was no justification for counting in the students who go to a private or parochial schools. If you are only going to try to solve the problem of construction and teachers in public schools I think that it's very
logical to have this formula in view of the president's objective. I personally believe. That Howard University should pay should play an increasingly large role in the educational process of this country. I have recommended that there be a substantial increase in the allocation of funds to Howard University over that provided in the Eisenhower budget and it would be my hope and interest as secretary to do everything that I can to make Howard University a stronger and greater University. You know they say that they think that is the right.
Well I have been saying this but let me say this. The field of mental health was one was a field that I was vitally and deeply interested in as governor in Connecticut. I believe that mental mental illness is one of the greatest scar GEs and one of the most important diseases to overcome with one out of every 10 Americans being stricken during their lifetime with mental illness. There was a great opportunity Faraz on the federal level to make site Elizabeth's Hospital one of the most meaningful and forward looking hospitals in the country. And I would certainly do everything possible as secretary to encourage the future growth and advancement of St. Elizabeth's. And again as you can well realize my time has been taken up very very fully with the problems of the president's program to
date. And I have not had an opportunity to go into details on site Elizabeth. Yes ma'am. I don't that well I don't know where we can if they have a pipe. If a pub if it isn't a public school it's a private school then I don't see where they're entitled to any federal support. I don't know what I could do this would I would say this would assist said this was something you have to be decided by the court. I don't know anything the secretary can do. Yes that is very very well. You are right here this is exactly the wrong
thing. This will be your legacy. Right or I would say is a matter of fact it would give impetus to just what you are talking about for this reason. The greatest burden upon the private insurance companies are Blue Cross in the health field are the people over the age 65. And yet people under the age 60 under age 65 still suffer from illness and hospitalization. If Blue Cross and the private insurance companies do not have the costly burden actuarially the high cost over 65 I think that they could write much lower rates on their policies in the lower age brackets and it would be my guess that if
anything this would encourage insurance in the same fields. I from Washington D.C. This has been a press conference with United States secretary of Health Education and Welfare. Abraham Ribicoff it was recorded in February in cooperation with the United States Information Agency and prepared by the Washington office of the National Association of educational broadcasters program arranger was Leonard press production by the University of Michigan Broadcasting Service. This is the n AB Radio Network A.
Special of the week
Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff
Producing Organization
University of Michigan
National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Contributing Organization
University of Maryland (College Park, Maryland)
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Episode Description
This program presents Abraham Ribicoff speaking about school segregation and other issues at a press conference.
Series Description
Special of the Week #1. Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff at his first news conference, Feb. 1961.
Broadcast Date
Public Affairs
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Producing Organization: University of Michigan
Producing Organization: National Association of Educational Broadcasters
Speaker: Ribicoff, Abraham, 1910-1998
AAPB Contributor Holdings
University of Maryland
Identifier: 61-Sp.Wk.-1 (National Association of Educational Broadcasters)
Format: 1/4 inch audio tape
Duration: 00:29:56
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Chicago: “Special of the week; Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff,” 1961-03-29, University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC, accessed June 16, 2024,
MLA: “Special of the week; Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff.” 1961-03-29. University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Web. June 16, 2024. <>.
APA: Special of the week; Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare Abraham Ribicoff. Boston, MA: University of Maryland, American Archive of Public Broadcasting (GBH and the Library of Congress), Boston, MA and Washington, DC. Retrieved from