JUNE 8, 1956
HYDE PARK, N.Y—I took an early train to Hyde Park Wednesday morning, but my guests, Rajkumari Amrit Kaur and Mrs. Dorothy Norman, reached the F.D. Roosevelt Library five minutes before I did.
I was very happy to see this charming representative of India who has come to the United States on a goodwill tour. I have admired Rajkumari since I first saw her as her country's delegate at a meeting of the World Health Organization in Geneva. Since then, I have seen her both in India and on her last visit to the United States, and each time I am impressed by her charm and intelligence. I only regret that I do not have more time to talk with women of this calibre.
We spent a little over an hour in the Memorial library and going through the house, and she laid a wreath on my husband's tomb.
After that, I brought her back to lunch at 12 o'clock and by 1:30 she had to start by auto to New York, where she had another afternoon appointment. I was grateful even for this short visit, and for having my friend, Mrs. Norman, with her.
Mrs. Helen Mason, the librarian from the scientific library at Oak Ridge, Tenn., is spending a couple of days with me. I took her over to the library Wednesday morning and she made the tour with us, but she insisted on going back in the afternoon so she would have time to wander around by herself.
My cousin, Miss Laura Delano, also joined us for lunch. The party was small enough, however, that we could preserve the feeling of informality and intimacy which I particularly enjoy. I hope, too, that it is a pleasant change for our guests from other countries who have a good deal of hurried formality to put up with while they are visiting us.
I gathered from Rajkumari, who is the health commissioner of India, that this was proving to be a very satisfactory trip for her, since she was able to visit with people in a much more intimate fashion than she had on previous trips.
She spoke of going into an automat in New York City for the first time and sitting down to discuss with some other women what they were spending for their lunch. She had a very satisfactory interview with the President and has a great admiration for him as a man who is bent on keeping the peace of the world, if it is possible to do so.
Her greatest satisfaction, nevertheless, I think, has been her contacts with the young people of the nation in universities. She is having an opportunity to see a good deal of our country on this trip. For this, I am very grateful, as she has found a warmth and interest in India among the average American citizen which she had not realized existed. This has given her great hope that we may improve our understanding of each other and grow to closer friendship.
Rajkumari is particularly glad that the Prime Minister of India, Pandit Nehru, will be here for four days in July. Three of these days he will spend with our President and out of these talks she hopes will come far greater understanding of the policies of both countries.
I would like to see the Prime Minister also have an opportunity to meet our people, and I only hope that a year from now he will be able to visit our country in a more leisurely manner.
Then, I would like to see him address great crowds of people as he does in India. This could not help but increase mutual understanding.