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John B. OakesJohn B. Oakes
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editorial people but normally not. It is normally contributed from the outside. And in the days when we ran “Topics” three or four times a week, the overwhelming majority of these columns were written by outside contributors. It's been years since one man wrote them. There was a very famous man named Simeon Strunsky, who many years ago wrote all the “Topics” but after his death, then, they began to be contributed by other people. But now we run them only once a week, so it really isn't a question of -

Q:

The last time you discussed the recognition of China and went into considerable detail. Would you like to go over the background? It's one of the things that caused a lot of controversy about the Times - of [Herbert L.] Matthews, the development of the Cuba story, his staying on as an editorial writer, and the change that eventually came about.

Oakes:

What main change?

Q:

I mean the change that came about as far as policy. The Times was slower in recognizing Cuba as being a Communist-dominated country than many other publications. Perhaps my question was too long. Why don't you tell the Cuba story in your own words.

Oakes:

About Matthews and the Cuba story. Well, of course, the Matthews issue has been a difficult one for the Times because we've been attacked very, very vigorously and still are being attacked. There's hardly a day, and certainly not a week, that goes by that I do not receive an angry letter asking if Matthews is still a member of the New York Times staff and so forth. So, this is a very tough issue, but I'm very proud of the Times' position on it,



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