JUNE 26, 1956
NEW YORK—I went to Syracuse Monday morning for the graduation exercises of my grandson, John Roosevelt Boettiger, at the Jamesville-DeWitt High School. Next fall he will go to Amherst and I am particularly happy that he has been accepted there as so many people whom I admire greatly have graduated from that college.
I came home on the night train after a delightful reception at the school which, by the way, is a very good one.
A tea party was held in the afternoon at my daughter's new farm home, which is still in the remodeling stage, so those who came to the party had to be charitable and try to think how the home will look in the future rather than how it looks now. I think the property has great possibilities, and that my son-in-law and daughter, Dr. and Mrs. James Halsted, were very fortunate in finding an old farmhouse which will give them so much room and comfort and, at the same time, the joy of looking out over rolling hills and wooded farmland in every direction. It is only 15 minutes by car to Dr. Halsted's office, so commuting should not be too difficult.
I found my son, James, here when I arrived Tuesday morning for breakfast and we had time for a little chat before he left for Washington.
As usual, on arriving in New York many unexpected things pop up to be done. But the news in the paper which I think most surprising is that the President has accepted Prime Minister Jawarharlal Nehru's suggestion that he will not come to this country early in July.
I suppose this is only a postponement, but, nevertheless, it seemed odd to me to announce that the visit would be postponed on account of the President's health and at the same time announce that the President would go to Panama only two weeks later. I think that an understanding between the President and head of government of one of the greatest countries in Asia still in the free world should be one of the most important things on the Presidential agenda for the next few months and that nothing should be undertaken before this is carried through.
If a real agreement could be reached between the countries of the West and the East on the need for the existence and support of Israel, much of the difficulty in the Near East would be eliminated. And, at the moment, that area is one of the most explosive.
Therefore, it seems to me inconceivable that this important visit, during which so many things of highest importance could be discussed, has been postponed without setting a future date. And to undertake anything of an exhausting nature before that date, like the trip to Panama, also seems strange.
It would be natural for Prime Minister Nehru to offer to give up his visit in consideration of the President's health, and perhaps his health does require the postponement. But this delay in the visit should be as brief as possible.
All of us surely await with anxiety the creation of a better understanding between the United States and India that would come from this visit. And, though we do not have as much information as the State Department and the President, we ordinary citizens are deeply concerned that such conferences, aimed at settlement of world tension, should be carried through whenever possible.
I realize full well the importance of the President's trip to Panama, for in Latin America there is a need for building up friendship and understanding and if the trip can be made safely in July, I am happy it will be undertaken.
But I still feel the visit of the Prime Minister of India is of paramount importance to the whole free world.