JUNE 25, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—As I drove into Poughkeepsie Tuesday afternoon I was aware of an unusual number of flags flying and an air of gaiety in the streets in spite of the gray afternoon. I was immediately reminded that the college regatta was on, and despite our proximity to Poughkeepsie I don't know how I had forgotten about it.
When I reached home I was greeted by an excited group of youngsters who had been down and watched the start of several races, and after a hurried supper were going back to see the last one.
These races are a great event for Poughkeepsie, and the city fathers are trying very hard to improve the accommodations for the crews and to do all they can to make things pleasant for the competitors. All of my sons rowed while they were in school and I feel a certain amount of interest in this sport, but somehow I always seem to be doing something that makes it impossible for me to get to these races.
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Quite another race seems to be ready to start this morning and the papers say that the balloting should be under way for naming the Republican Presidential candidate. Thus far it has been interesting to find that nearly all the leaders who led the Republican party to disaster up to 1933 and the years thereafter are the most prominent speakers.
However, there were some younger men writing the party's platform who seemed to have a fair conception that the world is not the world of 1928 and that these same conceptions will not meet the needs either of this country or of the world.
I listened to former President Herbert Hoover and his plea for Germany with mixed emotions. I do not want the Germans to starve, but they have started two wars and I do not want them to be set up again industrially so that they can start a third one. It seemed to me that Mr. Hoover was advocating something perilously near such a program.
All of this talk of forgiving our enemies and helping them back on their feet is fine, and I certainly agree we should forgive them and help them to live decently. But we must not set them up in order that they may fight Russia or in order that they may start another World War.
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I am glad that Dr. James G. McDonald is heading our mission to the State of Israel. He has made a study of conditions in the Near East and I think he will be most helpful to the Government there. He also will be extremely helpful to those here in this country who are trying to resolve this difficult question.
An Englishman suggested to me the other day that Great Britain had lost some of her popularity in this country and that it seemed to be because of the Palestine question. I think there is a feeling that Great Britain has been more interested in Arabian oil than she was in the well-being of the area over which she had a mandate and whose people looked to her to help solve their problems.
It is true that Great Britain needs oil, but we should cast no stones at her. There are many people in our own Government who think first of our need of oil and only secondly about the Jewish people and their problems. The great mass of people, however, cannot help admiring a small group fighting for liberty and the creation of a Government of their own. And though perhaps Great Britain does not deserve some of the criticism that has come her way on this problem, there is no use denying that it has existed.