Two panelists, both self-styled conservatives, made a heroic effort last night to disagree on the issue of world federalism. But they did not get beyond an abstract discussion of whether a world federation was desirable.
The pro-federalist panelist, Carter Higgins, president of the Worcester Pressed Steel Co. and the New England World Federalists, came to the meeting, as he said expecting to confront a John Bircher. He spent much of the discussion attacking Birchite anti-disarmament and anti-United Nations slogans. He said, "You can get together with the Russians if you have to."
But to Higgins' surprise, his opponent, Allen McKay, Boston attorney and member of the Young Americans for Freedom, did not question much besides the practicality of a world federation. In answer, Higgins outlined his idea of a world government that would enforce international law without interfering in the internal affairs of states, but he advocated no specific steps with which McKay would argue.
McKay presented several brief arguments against the desirability of world government. He said, first, that the United States' standard of living might decline relative to that of other countries in a world federation, which would be "impractical, leaving aside the question of desirability." Then he argued that power corrupts, and that the less centralized a government was, the better.
But neither of these dangers seemed a real one in terms of the limited world government outlined by Higgins. As Higgins said, "my opponent and I get along just fine."
When the topic of world federalism was exhausted, McKay answered a series of questions on his foreign policy views. He said United States policy should be to prevent "unjust profiteering at the expense of the American people," and that Americans should feel "morally indignant" about Communist "police states."
McKay added that no nation should pursue its self-interest beyond its own borders, but later advocated American support for underground movements behind the iron curtain.