AUGUST 8, 1947
CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, N.B., Thursday—I was sorry to see it stated the other day that in all probability there would be no special session of Congress in the autumn to consider more carefully the implementation of the Marshall Plan, and to give some reassurance to Europe that the plan is not just a dream but a reality in which the people of our country, through their representatives, are really showing an interest. However, an unprecedented number of Congressmen will be travelling in Europe from now on, and every citizen hopes, I am sure, that they will gain real knowledge from their trips.
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One of the things I noted in a statement made by Assistant Secretary of State William Benton struck me as worthy of serious thought by the country as a whole. He said he was confident that the members of Congress who travel abroad this year will observe the effect on other countries of the false information given out about the United States by our detractors, or lack of any information about us at all. This, of course, is something which strikes every person who receives letters from Europe or has any connection with Europe or the foreign world in general.
In this same statement, Mr. Benton seemed optimistic as to the results which can be obtained with the reduced appropriation for the State Department's information program. Certainly we need to tell the world more about ourselves and not less. The USSR has not joined UNESCO, and so will gain very little knowledge of us from that organization's activities. And one can only hope that the plan for the exchange students and professors may actually materialize between the USSR and ourselves.
I am glad that Congress did not cut too drastically the appropriations for the interdepartmental committee on scientific and cultural cooperation with Latin America. It seems to be accepted on the military level that cooperation is to be pushed between our country and the countries of South and Central America, and that a coordinated program of defense is to be worked out. If that is so, then it seems to me all the more important that we should push our other contacts, since military contacts alone do not create better understanding among the peoples concerned.
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And now for a little lighter note. If any of you are lucky enough to be in a part of the world where blueberries grow wild, you must now be enjoying that faint blue color that indicates a carpet of blueberries buried among green leaves. Even if you do not like to eat them, I recommend that you pick them for your family. It is extremely good exercise for the waistline. And just as my aunt, Mrs. Douglas Robinson, wrote that one of the values of the old-fashioned tin bathtubs was that "they washed their guests in sections which caused most graceful genuflections," so I recommend blueberry picking for the same reason!