SEPTEMBER 12, 1953
NEW YORK, Friday—The death of Chief Justice Fred M. Vinson brings me sorrow. I think it is really bad to lose a man at this time who has shown so much ability as a conciliator. This ability of his was evident even before he was appointed to the Supreme Court and this gift has served his country well, for we, like all other countries, need all our really good public servants who have fair minds and are ready to listen to the other fellow.
I was sorry also to read the other day of General Wainwright's death. His heroic defense of Corregidor and all that he did in his military career make his life one of the bright and undying pages of our history. We have had many brave, courageous men in our armed forces, but I think his particular kind of courage, courage to endure as well as to do, will never be forgotten by the people of our country.
It is natural, I suppose, that there should be more South Koreans on the list of people not as yet returned by the North Koreans and Chinese Communists than there are men of any other nationality but it must make President Rhee a little sad to think how many North Korean prisoners he released before the exchange began. If he had not been so hasty he might have had better bargaining power now to get more South Koreans released.
Nine hundred and forty-four men of ours are still not accounted for, according to the newspapers, as well as a number of the other U.N. participants. I am very doubtful really about the men the Communists say do not wish to be repatriated. It is possible that having listened to the Communists and perhaps receiving favors because of their willingness to listen, they are now afraid to return.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of having the Nottingham Fellows lunch with me at the Cosmopolitan Club. They are in charge, while in New York City, of Mr. Fletcher, who was a Fellow last year and who now has returned to live permanently in the United States. They were here over Labor Day and I imagine it would have been a lonely time for them but that the Junior International Chamber of Commerce takes its job seriously and they met them on arrival and took them to dinner in spite of the Labor Day weekend. On Sunday some of them went to the Polo Grounds. Next Sunday they will come to Hyde Park and lunch with me.
I always like to see something of these young people since the Fellowships were established by the City of Nottingham in memory of my husband and I have seen each year since their establishment the young people who have come over here. They visit the businesses in which they are interested and see as much of the country as they are able to see and meet as many people as possible so as to go back with a picture of the United States in their minds.