AUGUST 4, 1953
LONDON—Many little odds and ends had to be done on Friday morning before I went over to the Hotel Bristol to hold a press conference. I had thought it would not be necessary to hold one in Vienna since I had held one in both Greece and Yugoslavia and my time there was so short but the press seemed disappointed and though I realized that I knew very little about the problems and situations facing this part of Europe, I decided at least to meet the press and tell them how much I enjoyed my time here and how lovely I thought this city was.
Everyone has been telling me what a wonderful impression Mr. Stevenson made while here and I can only hope that my shortcomings will be covered up by his glories. Somehow he always has an apt word to meet every situation and I have heard so many stories about him since I have been following in his footsteps through Europe that I feel he has left little phrases everywhere which people will be repeating whenever they hear his name.
After the press conference we had lunch and then started for the airport and took off on a flight directly to London. I had hoped to stop in Amsterdam but I found that no flights went direct and as my time is so short, I came straight through to London.
My granddaughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Van Seagraves, drove over from Paris in their car to join me here and we are looking forward to taking some short trips and having an enjoyable few days in England, besides there are always people here that I am anxious to see. Then I will go back to Paris just to see my two great–grandchildren before I leave for home.
Coming back to Claridges is always a familiar setting for a London visit, and tomorrow the children and I will have made many plans for the use of our time during the next few days.
One thing struck me in Austria. There must be a great many people who are really suffering. In a short walk one morning we were stopped three times by beggars, one very old woman who just sat in a doorway and held out her hand, one younger woman who incessantly plucked at the sleeves of every passerby and seemed to have some affliction of the face for she twitched all the time, one old man, and I am quite sure there were others. There were always people waiting to open our car door. I had read in the guide book that watching a parked car was a real occupation in Austria and I thought it was ridiculous but I have learned in the last few days that when work is scarce, old people and young people will work at anything they can think up that someone might pay them for doing.
There is still a tremendous amount of rebuilding to be done in Vienna and I am sure there is new building that must be done but capital for investment is scarce. I don't think there is the drive in Vienna that there is in Germany and certainly the problems seem very acute.