JANUARY 30, 1956
PHOENIX—Even in the Southwest the vicissitudes of travel have to be taken philosophically. We were supposed to leave Lubbock, Texas after the evening meeting which began at 7:30 to catch a 10 p.m. plane for Albuquerque and arrive here at 11:36. But mechanical trouble developed in Dallas and on the way down cargo trouble, whatever that may be, added to the delay. We never left Lubbock until 11:30 p.m. and we walked into our Hilton Hotel in Albuquerque just before two in the morning. I think all three of us were more than ready to fall into bed. I had slept a little on the plane coming over, but I was very glad that we had sent word to the welcoming committee not to meet us, for I am sure that it would have been difficult to think up cheerful small talk at that hour of the morning.
Next day, to my surprise and pleasure, I found that Mrs. Szerlip, who moved out here with her doctor husband some two years ago, had taken the responsibility of the meeting here and gathered together in this highly organized city some 36 representatives of various organizations for a workshop from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Mr. Eichelberger answered questions in the early afternoon while I went to talk on various television and radio programs. In the evening we had dinner with Mrs. Szerlip and her four children before the meeting. Another plane trip, to El Paso, Texas, was scheduled afterward and then a return to Phoenix for another day's activities there.
An editorial in the Albuquerque paper here on foreign aid says that the people on the whole will back Congress on reduction of foreign aid and were in sympathy with the efforts being made up to this year to reduce this aid. The President's presentation of the change in Soviet policy, however, may make a change in the attitude of the people. I am surprised that in the question periods at the meetings we do not get more questions on the extent and reason for foreign aid. And also on the cost of the United Nations. I had expected more interest in this field than actually comes to the surface in the questions that people ask.
At a press conference here, one of the reporters asked me if I thought the newspapers were giving sufficient coverage to the work of the U.N. specialized agencies in this country. As I rarely see any story on this subject, I could answer truthfully that I thought we were not taking advantage of the successes achieved in the work of these agencies and on the whole people of the country knew rather little about their day by day activities and successes throughout the world.