MAY 1, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—At Lake Success on Friday afternoon the newspaper men gathered around to ask me how I felt about ex-President Herbert Hoover's speech. I have been thinking about it seriously ever since I read it. The President was right when he congratulated Mr. Hoover on rallying the moral forces of our country to combat Communism. That is one of the essential parts of the struggle that is going on between Communism and democracy, and it is fine to have a man who has the respect of so many people bring out that side of the struggle.
I was very sad, however, that Mr. Hoover advocated reorganizing the United Nations and leaving out such a large part of the peoples of the world. As long as the United Nations is really united, there is a bridge which the peoples of the world can use to reach each other; and little by little, I believe, they will increase their understanding and their confidence in each other. Once we are divided into two camps, and armed camps at that, the future will be bleak indeed. It is true that we exist today virtually in armed camps, that we look at each other with suspicion and that we are often misrepresented to each other. But there is the bridge—and we must not let it go.
It would not be possible for Russia to pull out of the areas of the world which are not Communistic, for she has gone too far in her hopes and aspirations for a world that will become Communist. We would therefore be facing more and more underground efforts. I believe it is better to meet out in the open and let the winds of the world's knowledge and understanding blow. We think we have something good for the world to see. If we bar those who are in opposition to us, what chance have we even to reach a point where we can induce them to meet and work with us on some mutually beneficial activities? It is a long road to education, but we must not cut off that road or close it if we can possibly prevent it.
After leaving the U.N. on Friday evening I went back to New York City, where a very kind young man came to guide me to Shanks Village, where I was to speak on my way to Hyde Park. We did not get to Hyde Park until after midnight, but I was very glad I had gone on this jaunt. Shanks Village is an inspiring spot. The barracks that once were for soldiers are converted now into little apartments for the GI students who work at Columbia. The medical student who came for me, Robert J. Weiss, gave me a little sketch of some of the people I would be talking to. He explained that these young people wanted families, and that their interests were not directed purely toward material values. Being a good manager was more important than having money to waste. I saw one apartment where we went for coffee after the meeting. What ingenuity had been used by the young student architect and his wife to make a really charming interior!
These young people are going to spread out through our nation, and there are more like them in other educational centers. I could not help being thankful that these are the people who are going to shape the future of the United States.
Saturday was a day of great pleasure up here even though it rained. I walked in the woods with the dogs before breakfast and found my first red trillium—not quite out, but just showing through the leaves—the first little blood roots and a clump of violets in a sheltered spot. A bed of hyacinths is in bloom and a long row of yellow daffodils made gay even this rainy day.