MAY 23, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Here we are at home again. It seems incredible that I was in Switzerland Sunday morning and here in Hyde Park on Monday evening.
We left Geneva with regret. Everyone had been so kind to us, and it is a very beautiful place. But I must say I was happy to see my son, Elliott, and his wife at the airport when we landed, and nothing is more beautiful than the drive up the parkway from New York City. I was delighted to find the dogwood still in bloom, the house filled with spring flowers, our cupboard stocked with fresh rhubarb and asparagus from our own garden, and lilies-of-the-valley still on the bushes.
Our trip by air from Geneva to Paris was pleasant and we had a few very delightful hours in Paris with Mr. and Mrs. James P. Hendrick. The pink and white chestnut trees are still in bloom and Paris is a lovely city in the spring.
I went to lunch with my old friend, Emily de la Grange and her husband, and met a number of magazine and newspaper people. There were writers for various news agencies at lunch, particularly European services, and they immediately asked me if I had seen Senator Taft's speech of Saturday evening. As no newspaper is published in Paris on Sunday, I had not seen it and I was unable to hear anything over the radio as I was on the plane.
I later was given a short quotation from one of the news services and discovered that the Senator was speaking about the use of Chinese Nationalist troops in Korea. Apparently his choice of language was somewhat unfortunate from the view point of other parts of the world which we are now trying to help rearm and to encourage to feel our interest and backing in their efforts to defend themselves. The phrase that seemed to stick in the minds of these correspondents was the one that "it was cheaper" to fight with other people's men.
This speech was meant, of course, to give the people of the United States the feeling that Senator Taft cared more about American boys' lives than he did about the lives of boys from other countries. What he actually said, as I understand it, was that we should replace our troops in Korea by the use of Chinese Nationalist troops.
What we should really do, I believe, is to bend every effort toward bringing the war in Korea to a close and to prevent war in any part of the world. I think it is difficult to say that the boys of any nation are less precious than those of another nation. The world must be thought of as one big family and to link human life with the question of money always seems to me an impossible thing to do.
What man or woman wouldn't rather lose everything material they have in the world than one human life?
We naturally feel a greater personal feeling for our own, but in the world of today we have to grow to think of all men as precious. I am sure that the sorrow endured by a Chinese Communist mother is as bitter as that of any other woman in the world when her son is lost in war.
Senator Taft would help us more if he would think of constructive ways to peace rather than of the use of more troops in an ever-widening area.