APRIL 21, 1954
DETROIT, Tuesday—From various sides I have been hearing lately about the effort being made to free two journalists who were taken prisoners by the Chinese Reds a year ago. They were in their own boat and had Captain Ben Krasner with them. One man was Donald Dixon and the other Richard Applegate and they have joined the other Americans still known to be held captives in Communist China, 32 in all.
Our representative in the Economic and Social Council, Mr. Preston Hotchkiss, made a speech about these captives "appealing to world public opinion in an effort to prevail upon the Chinese Communist regime" to release all the Americans.
Many efforts have been made of late as regards these three prisoners and the others with them. The Overseas Press Club is interested in their fate and innumerable friends of theirs, in press and radio circles, have exerted many efforts in their behalf.
It is very difficult to know how to make appeals which will reach the Communist Chinese government, but they must know by now that holding innocent people captive does them no good in the eyes of the world and, on the other hand, they would have the gratitude of many people throughout the world if they decided to let their prisoners go free. It would certainly make a good impression in our country if these prisoners came back stating that they had been well treated and we found them in good condition.
* * *
As I look back on my last trip for the American Association for the U.N., two days stand out in my mind. One was in Reno, and I want to tell you about the little city of Wells, Nevada, with a population slightly over 800, which was given a quota of 60 members to reach in this year's membership drive now going on during the month of April. By the time we reached Reno to spend the day, Wells had already passed the halfway mark and was determined to reach its full quota.
We have assigned to every state, according to population, the number of members it should have to reach our goal of one million members. All states have a long way to go, but knowing what they have to do may make it easier to achieve.
The second day that stands out in my mind is the one we spent with the San Diego chapter. We had a delightful luncheon with the officers of the chapter and they held a very successful meeting and I hope it will spur them on to attain their quota also.
* * *
Last week I saw "Anniversary Waltz." It certainly is a comedy and Moss Hart has directed it well. It requires no thought on the part of the audience, just an ability to sit back and laugh. If you want a perfectly effortless evening, as far as intellectual effort is concerned, this is a play I can recommend and I think you will enjoy it.