SEPTEMBER 12, 1951
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—Everyone should be relieved that 48 nations signed the Japanese Peace Treaty so quickly, and that there were so few abstentions. This looks like the beginning of real peacemaking.
It does not mean, however, that there are no longer many problems ahead and that much will have to be done. Without the signature of the Soviet Union no real peace in Asia is assured. The great gain is that there is greater unanimity among the other nations of the world and apparently acknowledgement of the fact that even if there are minor points on which nations disagree, they can agree on the main objectives. And, having accepted them, they can hope for changes as they work out an agreement if minor decisions taken at any point do not seem to work well.
John Foster Dulles deserves great credit for his patience and the great ability with which he has convinced so many nations that this is, at least, an acceptable peace. Now he will have the equally important duty of working on our own Senate until the treaty is ratified. I don't know which will require more diplomacy, but I think he still has some work to do, particularly with his own political party.
Now that the peace treaty is signed I wonder if something definite will not shortly be happening in Korea. Many of us wait rather anxiously to see whether this will be the point where Russia will decide that an expanded war in Asia fits in with Soviet plans.
It is a pity that we still have to wonder what Soviet plans will be, instead of leaving her to wonder what ours will be. But until we reach the point where we are completely ahead in our military and economic strength throughout the world, I am afraid we will have to have this worry on our minds. The goal of building strength, however, is better understood day by day by our own people and by our allies and I hope before long we will see strength being built in the United Nations where, in the end, all strength of a military type and such economic strength should be vested.
Someone asked me the other day how we were going to educate the world to an acceptance of the fact that we were not a purely materialistic nation. I find it hard to answer that question except by hoping that we will so conduct ourselves that in time there will be a greater understanding of our objectives.
To many of us who have been in Democratic politics for a great many years, the death of former Ambassador James W. Gerard seemed to close an era. For a number of years past he had been almost a symbolic figure, standing for a situation in Democratic politics that I think no longer exists. The height of his career was his ambassadorship to Germany and many of the stories he told showed how much he enjoyed this experience. Without question, he represented his country well.
I have always admired Ambassador Gerard's willingness to help young people who came to this country from other countries and to help young people in the United States. I am sure many people will genuinely miss him in their everyday lives and in their undertakings of party or civic interests.