OCTOBER 16, 1947
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was very much interested to read a little item almost hidden away on an inner page of one of our metropolitan newspapers. Brig. Gen. Alfred A. Kessler, Jr., who has spent the last three years as our military attache at the American Legation in Stockholm, said on his return: "Shipment of food to Europe is essential to halt the spread of Communism," and furthermore, "Communism breathes with promises that are not fulfilled. If Europe gets enough food, there is less chance of its spreading."
Sensible talk, this, from a man who has watched the situation close at hand.
Food is not enough, however. It is a necessity, but in addition help must be given by the shipment of machinery, seed and fertilizer. We must furnish skilled advice, too, so that Europeans can begin to see the day approaching when they will grow their own food and when their own factories will produce even more than they did before the war. Also, their transportation must improve. When all this has been achieved, they can begin to repay their debts and can hold their heads up before the world.
It is hope that gives people spirit, and without spirit the problems of today cannot be solved.
* * *
I found one woman today who is not holding back on accepting refugees into our country, or on going even further on rationing than the President has as yet suggested. She wants to find someone who will start a special crusade. I hope she succeeds. Whether the details of her suggestions are correct, I don't know, but it is refreshing to come upon a person now and then who doesn't think we are sacrificing too much.
Out of the depth of her gratitude for what her grandchildren have been spared and for the return of her sons from the war, she is more than willing to deprive herself of anything which will be of assistance to those people who were in the actual war zones and have lost so much, not only in material things but in health and spiritual resilience.
* * *
The Mayor of this fair city seems of late to have found a way to bring about agreement before strikes actually come off. If only that spirit of agreement can come to be recognized as a benefit to both sides, what losses could be averted! It is distrust of the motives of the man on the other side of the table that keeps two groups from finding areas of agreement. And this is so not only in the industrial field but in the political field.
Even I, who want to find areas of agreement, for instance, find myself scrutinizing any new move made by others and wondering whether there is some hidden reason which does not appear upon the surface. If I do this, I am sure nearly everybody else does the same. It isn't my nature to be suspicious. I have just grown so because of experience and the fact that a long life teaches one caution.
The Mayor of New York seems to have found a way to inspire trust in people. And I hope that, in other areas of disagreement, we may find some solvent too!