MARCH 30, 1951
NEW YORK, Thursday—The meeting of the 21 Foreign Ministers in Washington is being watched with great interest. Never before has such a conference evoked so much interest in other parts of the world.
Secretary of State Acheson made a memorable speech on Tuesday and outlined a five-point program for strengthening this hemisphere's defenses against communism.
There is great need for these meetings among the countries of the Americas because we are people of different backgrounds, speak different languages, have different religions and certainly our economic problems are many and varied. To achieve unity among us will be a great step forward. If we even succeed in working out joint mobilization programs, as well as taking certain steps toward controling inflation, we will have gone a long way toward increasing our strength.
I read some time ago that some military people felt that any atomic attack on this country would be expected to occur during the spring and summer months. This conference in Washington, if it builds solidarity, will enormously decrease that danger.
I forgot to mention that on Sunday an exhibition of wax figures was held in the Park Sheraton Hotel for the benefit of the USO. The artist, Miss Ethel McLean, told me that she modeled each figure from photographs. Each one of the models represents the wife of a President and is beautifully dressed in what is supposed to have been her favorite gown. The one I wore was in a light shade of blue, which was labelled Eleanor Blue, a name given to a certain shade by a manufacturer soon after I went to the White House. I could not actually remember now what that shade was, but the costumes on the wax models are very gorgeous. I hope that the sculptor's patience will be rewarded by bringing in many dollars for the USO.
Mrs. Louis McHenry Howe and her daughter spent Monday night with me at Hyde Park and on Tuesday her son and daughter-in-law brought their three small boys up for what they insisted should be a picnic lunch out-of-doors. I had to break it to them gently that the picnic had to be indoors because even the wildest stretch of imagination could not have made it pleasant even if you searched for the warmest patch of sunshine!
Yesterday afternoon I should have been on my way to New Haven to make a speech for the Yale Law Students Association, but unfortunately my voice still will not hold out in a speech. The attack of grippe that caught me is taking longer to clear up than I had expected. I stay in most of the time and think my cough is practically gone and then when I go to do a recording I cough practically the whole way through!
I had a gentleman come for a short recording yesterday who had a real case of microphone terror. He knew what he wanted to say in answer to my questions, but each time we would come to the point where he was to speak he would be unable to utter a single word. We had to do the interview with him five times but I think he finally said what he wanted to say.