JULY 23, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I don't know when anything has shocked me so much as the recent story of an American citizen, sightseeing in Egypt, who was attacked by a mob and stoned to death.
This seems to me as one of the most outrageous things that has happened in a long time. Any country in which such a thing can happen would seem to me an unsafe country for any tourist. Apologies will, of course, be made but that does not bring the man back to life, nor does it remove from our consciousness the fact that the Egyptian Government has allowed its citizens to be so misguided that they have this amount of antagonism toward any American citizen.
Some of our citizens may feel one way about Palestine and some another, but if a country such as Egypt, or any other Arab country, cannot see to it that tourists are safeguarded, then I think the time has come to tell all tourists that they must not visit these countries.
It would seem to me entirely legitimate to take any other steps that would bring home to the people of these countries the realization that such evidences of lawlessness are not the proper procedure between nations that are anxious to preserve the peace of the world.
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The situation in Berlin is daily becoming so serious that no one should ignore the fact that the Russians are playing the very risky game of going just as far as they possibly can to achieve full control of the city.
Even if the Russians do not mean to go to war, what they are doing is very dangerous. They cannot tell when they will succeed in bringing about an incident that will so excite the people of America as to wipe out all traces of a friendly feeling toward them.
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The above two items are most discouraging and regrettable, but I have one very encouraging undertaking to report.
This is the development in Liberia that Edward R. Stettinius is preparing. At the opening of the first airplane line to Liberia, Mr. Stettinius was on hand as one of the backers. This will certainly be a great aid to its further development.
This is a time when I think all of us who are concerned with the peace of the world should rejoice in any step that furthers better relations, and we should try as far as we possibly can to prevent anything being said or written that will incite bad feeling and consequent irritation among the nations of the world.