AUGUST 6, 1955
MEEKER, Colo.—The release of the 11 U.S. fliers and their delivery into American hands in Hong Kong, occurring during the very first days of the Geneva meeting seems to show that the Chinese Communists had been contemplating this action as a friendly gesture. Quite evidently having been urged to do so as a preliminary to the discussion of all other questions, the Chinese Reds felt that a gesture of this kind would bring them a better atmosphere in which to discuss the very complicated and difficult questions which must someday come up, and they are probably right.
Our government stated that the release of the fliers was preliminary to any kind of discussion, and without question both the influence of Dag Hammarskjold, Secretary-General of the United Nations, and that of the Indian government had something to do in bringing the Chinese Communists to their present attitude.
Except for this major item of news I find the newspapers out here dealing very largely with local interests. This is true of many other areas that are rather far removed from our metropolitan centers. There's no doubt that covering local events creates a good deal more interest among the hometown newspaper readers. Our New York City newspapers do much the same to a great extent. But of course we do have more coverage of news from all over the world.
The preoccupation of people, however, with their own local situations and the things which touch their daily lives is perhaps more evident in these states that are farther away from the Atlantic and Pacific seaboards.
One of the guests here at Elliott's ranch has just come from Oklahoma, and she states that most of the people she spoke with are primarily concerned with the oil situation and what the Administration has done about imported oil.
Second in interest is the farm program and nothing else done by the Administration seems ever to be mentioned she said.
I imagine Oklahoma is not alone in this attitude.
We drove into Meeker, which is the nearest town to the ranch, to do some shopping this morning and it seems to me that the people here are particularly friendly. Many of them remembered seeing me here last year.
All seemed to want to know if we didn't find the days very warm just now. I explained that the sun was hot but that by evening I was wearing a sweater, something I would never think of doing during the month of July and early August in the Hudson Valley and in New York City. They seemed pleased that we appreciated their climate.
One can get a wonderful tan out here sitting in the sun and one knows that every afternoon there will be a breeze along the river and that it will be cool and comfortable—almost chilly—late in the day.