JULY 9, 1951
HYDE PARK, Sunday—One cannot help but feel a sense of tension as our men near the time for the truce talks in Korea. The hopes of the world are centered in finding evidences of good faith and a real desire for peace on the part of the North Koreans and Chinese. Back of them, of course, looms the Soviets who must be consulted, and from whom probably final orders will come.
It seems somewhat ironic that Jacob Malik, in sailing for the Soviet Union, stated that the best passages of his radio speech in which he proposed the cease-fire and armistice in Korea had been censored by our films and radio. The United Nations officials promptly answered that he, Mr. Malik, had himself made any deletions that were made in the speech. It is, of course, the kind of innuendo which the Soviets are so apt to make to mislead a public that might be gullible enough to take them at their word. When he said that he sent his best wishes to those in this country who fight for peace and friendship between our countries, he again ignored the fact that our country has never deviated from its desire for peace and friendship with all countries.
The threats have all come from the Soviet Union. They exist largely because the Soviet Union is apparently afraid to allow free entry and departure from their country. If people could come and go freely, much of the suspicion and tension that now exists might be eased. It might be possible to know by observation how much war preparation goes on in the Soviet Union, how large an army they keep ready for attack at the point that they think strategic. It would affect the attitude of the whole rest of the world. At present we know almost nothing of what goes on within the Soviet Union and its satellites, and as a result we have to prepare for the worst. If only they could grow up to the point of not being afraid of observation and criticism, they might someday agree to a United Nations joint inspection force and we would be on the way, not just to an armed truce, but to real disarmament in the world as a whole.
There is one little humorous point involving the Soviet Union which I am sure has given many of us a chuckle. When Pravda announced that bears did not catch fish in Siberian waters, apparently the scientists in the New York Museum of Natural History became excited. They looked up an old Russian text, Volume Two of the Annals of Eastern Europe and Northern Asia, published by the Empire Publishing Company of Moscow and Leningrad in 1931. Professor S.I. Ognev, a Russian naturalist who is still working on the series, seems to have given some eyewitness accounts by Russian scientists describing the manner in which Russian bears catch fish, so perhaps Pravda was a little premature in criticising the documentary film which showed the bears occupied in this manner. Perhaps an edict from the Kremlin has stopped their doing this, but one would expect the bears to be unaware even of Soviet edicts.