NOVEMBER 24, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—If one listens to the radio and reads enough papers, one gets a very confused idea of what is actually happening in the U.N. on the Indian resolution as regards the plan for dealing with Korean prisoners of war. I think it quite probable that before too long a time elapses a formula acceptable to the U.N. forces will be reached.
The United States has said that it is essential to find a way whereby prisoners will not be repatriated against their will. The cry of the Communists has been that actually people were being prevented from returning to their homeland. It is quite possible that the Indians will find a satisfactory formula which the United Nations will feel sufficiently safeguards those who do not want enforced repatriation. But I doubt whether the Russians will acept any such formula.
Prime Minister Nehru, in making his U.N. appeal on this issue in the lower house of the Indian parliament, was cheered by members of all classes including the Communists. The Prime Minister realizes, of course, that this is only a step toward ultimate peace. But if his suggestion can win acceptance, he feels that is a contribution to a peaceful solution.
His appeal is addressed to the Soviets as well as to the U.N. Should the U.N. accept and the Soviets not accept, it would place the blame for continuance of the war squarely on the Soviet's shoulders. An armistice has to take place before any real peace can come in Korea. If the Soviets do not agree to this step, one can be quite sure that war is what they prefer. They do not mind the continuation of fighting, particularly since their own men are not dying. They say they sympathize with the losses of Communist China, but still they are willing to see China continue to weaken herself.
Our sincere sympathy goes to William Green's family and his friends who will feel deeply his loss. His wise and calm counsel will be missed by the whole American Federation of Labor. If you have lived to 82 years you have lived a long while in this troubled world, and I am sure Mr. Green felt that his years had been well spent in the service of his fellow men.
Now when the two great labor movements of the country, the CIO and the AFL, are waiting to choose a new head, those of us who feel that labor would be stronger if it came together under one head cannot help wishing that this might be a time when factional difficulties would be conciliated and labor might once again present a united front.
Saturday morning I took Lady Norman, who is here from England, to see Wiltwyck School. I was happy to note a number of improvements. Even though the plant leaves much to be desired, the spirit among the boys and their counsellors is really remarkable.
In the afternoon I attended the dedication ceremonies of a new town hall and post office in Highland, New York, just across the river from Poughkeepsie. We continue to have November rains, and Begum Liaquat Ali Khan and Begum Mohammed Ali of Pakistan, who drove up to stay the night, spent a long time on the way.