NOVEMBER 28, 1955
HYDE PARK—It is distressing to read that the Soviet leaders, while addressing parliament in India, took the opportunity to assail the West and its proposals for disarmament. This will not make for good feeling in Western countries or for any greater understanding between the West and the countries of Asia. Such speeches confirm in the West the belief that the Soviet Union intends to continue its efforts to communize Asia and Africa. It may even alert areas of these continents to the danger that they may be taken over by an ideology with which as yet they are not fully in accord.
Many of us can see that there are reasons why our government policy may lead the Soviet Union to be nervous about their own security and to question our sincerity. But there are better ways of coming together and gaining an understanding than by going to an Asiatic nation and making a speech to their parliament along the lines that were followed by the two top Soviet leaders in India. Sometimes I wish that these speeches could all be made with the top people gathered together in the U.N. so that each point can be answered as it is made. Possibly some clarification might result from that kind of a worldwide, open discussion.
I flew to Ottawa last week via Montreal to make a speech before the Canadian Hadassah organization. This was my first visit to Ottawa, and much of the time I was thinking of an old friend and former Prime Minister, Mr. Mackenzie King. My husband felt that he had done much to develop understanding between our two nations, and during the war that understanding was of great importance. I think it is important at all times and it is fortunate that the present Prime Minister, M. St. Laurent, is very popular too with Americans; but because of my husband's close association with Mackenzie King, he was the one to whom my mind turned as I drove into the city.
Ottawa is a fine city, but not so easy either to reach or to leave as I might wish! I had to take a night plane to Toronto in order to get one early enough the next morning to be back in New York for some morning engagements.
I read a delightful novel by Rose Franken, called "Intimate Story," on this last trip. It is very different from some of Miss Franken's other books, but qualities that make her other books delightful also make this one interesting, especially in its studies of people. The author treats of two problems—the problem of the generations, as shown by a mother, her daughter and son-in-law; and the problem of a woman who has had a very happy marriage which has ended too soon. The latter still has much of her life to live, but finds the adjustment very difficult. It is a penetrating and interesting book and may be very helpful if its lessons can be understood and accepted by women in their middle years.