Governor Robert B. Meyner of New Jersey visited Cambridge yesterday with his pretty wife and a prepared speech. Addressing the Harvard Democratic Leadership Forum, he struck at the large measure of abdication of regulatory authority by the so-called big six Federal commissions--FTC, FCC, FPC, FAA, SEC, and ICC. The Federal Trade Commission and the Federal Communications Commission were singled out for particular opprobrium because of the current television quiz show scandals.
Obviously gearing his address to a university audience, variously quoted James B. Conant, Woodrow Wilson, Artemus Ward, Matthew Hale, John Randolph of Roanoke, Francis Bacon, Cardozo, Justice Holmes, and Gilbert & Sullivan.
"All too often Eisenhower appointees have been men of small distinction, chosen from regulated businesses," Meyner charged. "Those who should be safeguarding the interests of the public have too many times proved to be the servants of the very industries over whom they have been set as watchdogs."
The solution to curtailing activities like those uncovered in television lies not in passing new laws, he maintained, but "in putting to work what laws and regulations we have." He pointed out that Federal agencies are now belatedly investigating TV activities. "Now that the horse has been stolen, the Administration is rushing in from all directions to close the barn door." He mentioned that "as Governor I know that the public expects me to be on top of the play, every day and every minute of the day."
In regard to the 1960 Democratic convention, Meyner acknowledged that he may be a New Jersey favorite son nominee and that he hopes to lead his state's delegation. "I want to participate in any way I can," he said, declining to predict whom the convention will nominate.