DECEMBER 10, 1951
PARIS, Sunday—I had the pleasure the other afternoon of meeting Congressman Rooney, chairman of the House Appropriations Committee, and a group of other Congressmen traveling with him. I really enjoy these opportunities of talking to our representatives, and it is very reassuring to come in contact with our American vitality and point of view.
To many people it seems strange that we could not agree in Korea to a cease-fire and then arrange all terms that are being discussed now beforehand. As one watches the news day by day, however, one realizes that perhaps it is a natural thing for our officers who are doing the negotiating in Korea to take these extra precautions. They don't want to have a cease-fire come to an end and then find that the time has been used not in an effort to find a basis of agreement for an armistice, but just to gain time to build up a tremendous offensive. To read in the paper that one of the major difficulties has been created by the fact that the Communists would not want to allow an inspection team composed of representatives of neutral nations to visit "new construction projects," and to learn that these projects were new airfields, certainly made one conscious of what might go on in building strength for the enemy during a cease-fire.
I sometimes wonder whether there ought not to be with our negotiators in Korea some representative of the United Nations. Since the United States was given by the United Nations the responsibility for carrying on the military operation under their command, it seemed natural that the cease-fire should be negotiated under this same command. But as it drags on from week to week, I feel it would be a protection and would give greater confidence to the people of the world to have a representative from United Nations headquarters joining our military team in these complicated negotiations.
The other day I saw a suggestion which I thought had real merit by one of the Washington columnists on how to get rid of some of the corruption in Washington caused by the effort of businessmen to gain influence with government in one way or another. The suggestion was that business should assign some of their bright young men to study how government works and then they would not need to employ middlemen between business and government. This would have two advantages—it would make a more direct contact, and business might make some good suggestions for improving the organization of government, or at least gain a better understanding of the problems which face government.
Everyone will sympathize with the British in the tragedy which occurred in England when a bus plowed through a group of marching boys between the ages of 10 and 14, killing a number of them and injuring a number of others. It is hard to understand how such things can occur, except that I imagine in that area headlights are not very bright and a narrow road between high hedges, with so many twists and turns, would make it difficult for a bus to stop or for youngsters to get out of the way.