DECEMBER 22, 1950
HYDE PARK, N.Y., Thursday—It was interesting that President Truman should liken the attack on Secretary of State Dean Acheson and the demands made upon him to remove his Secretary of State to the demands made upon President Abraham Lincoln by a group of Republicans who wanted President Lincoln to remove his Secretary of State, William H. Seward.
If I remember my history correctly, Mr. Seward was anything but loyal to President Lincoln, but in the present case President Truman commands the loyalty of Mr. Acheson. The President is entirely right, I think, in saying that were the Communists victorious in the world, Secretary Acheson would certainly be considered one of the leaders they wished to get out of the way as quickly as possible.
I like the phrase that was used in the Senate that we have come to a pretty pass when policy is made by character assassination! That is the kind of phrase that sticks in people's minds, and I think it is one of the things we should pause and think about because there has been too much character assassination these days. One of the things the Communists like to do is to make us suspicious of each other. The less we trust our leaders, the less we are apt to act in unison and accept the sacrifices they ask of us, so all these attacks made on public servants are a joy to the Communists who feel that they are being highly successful in preventing a unified United States.
Somehow or other we have got to find a middle road that allows proper investigation of any real charges, but which prevents irresponsible people in and out of government, from saying anything they choose. These charges usually are made under circumstances, that makes it impossible, even after the accusations are disproved, to do anything to the accuser.
Protests are beginning to be heard in Hong Kong, the British colony, since that particular spot will suffer and has already begun to feel the cutting off of trade between the United States and Communist China.
In October the official foreign trade turnover in Hong Kong was said to be close to $130,000,000. Exports amounted to about $70,000,000 and imports to about $60,000,000. Goods brought in from the U.S. and China accounted for 40 percent of the total income for October. Goods sent out to the U.S. and China accounted for 57 percent of the total export. Our new order will bring about a shortage of raw materials for Hong Kong's own factories and there will be fewer goods available for trade with Southeast Asia as well as with China. This is the very first of the repercussions that will come as economic sanctions are fully applied.
I was happy to see that General Dwight D. Eisenhower stressed that his new command was to be used "for the purpose of preserving the peace." It seems to me that it may be very useful in connection with General Eisenhower's command to have the new 14 member peace observation commission, set up by the General Assembly of the United Nations on which both the U.S. and Russia serve, begin to function immediately. This is the group that can keep constantly in touch in Europe and prove that nothing is happening under any new measures undertaken which should give anxiety to any single nation as being a preparation for war and not for peace.