JULY 31, 1953
LJUBLJANA, Yugoslavia—It was a pleasure yesterday to find our old friend, Martha Gelhorn at our hotel. She dined with us and went on to Dubrovnik this morning but she does not change at all. She is herself, the keen and amusing and somewhat cynical observer of the world and its activities as they go on. She is an excellent reporter but she does not want to be in the U.S. Nevertheless, on her little Italian car an American flag is a very convenient decoration. How contradictory we all are!
At nine o'clock this morning, Monday, July 20th [originally: 30th] , I left the hotel to go over a factory which is making turbines. It is a new factory which really got into production about 1949 and last year made a profit. As yet its products are largely used throughout Yugoslavia but they assured me they would be able to export and could compete with similar industries in other parts of the world even though they do not use the mass production methods of the U.S. One man carries through on a job from beginning to end.
I had a talk with the Workers' Council and they again asked me about Senator McCarthy. It really is becoming funny because he has created such a bad impression all over Europe in every possible level of society that it is hard to explain that their perspective must change, that he really isn't as important as they think he is! They asked me, too, about the attitude of our trade unions toward Yugoslavia trade unions, and I explained our dislike of communist trade unions. Of course, our system of social security is also of great interest to them.
From this plant I went to a peasant cooperative just a little way out of the city. It seems to be set up much on the same lines as an ordinary cooperative at home and I went through one of the houses in the village. This village setup is, of course, quite different for only the house, the animals and the barn are together in a yard. The peasant's fields are about a kilometer away.
There is one characteristic of farms here which is interesting. They have so much rain that they cannot leave their hay to dry on the ground. So they bring it in and build it up on a type of fence which is about 12 feet high over which there is a roof which keeps the hay dry and sometimes, at one end, the roof is extended so it could cover a hay waggon before it had been unloaded.
I visited also a children's hospital, built with the money given by people in America who came from this republic. It seemed to me a very good hospital and there is room enough for expansion.