JULY 9, 1956
NEW YORK—Very bad weather the past week played havoc with my plans for the picnic which I give every summer for the boys from Wiltwyck School. On Thursday my supplies were all ordered, and when one is having 175 people one orders a considerable amount of everything. We hurriedly tried to cancel whatever we could on Thursday and again on Friday morning. But every icebox and all the deep freezes are filled to capacity! I must say that the country does not always provide you with the quiet and peace which it is supposed to furnish.
I am sure everyone was disturbed by the recent Arab assertions that Israel is massing troops in Jerusalem. The rumor was immediately denied by the Israeli government. But it seems to me that the people who should make the authoritative denial are the United Nations Truce Observation Commission. They must know whether Israel has moved troops into Jerusalem and they are the only people who will be believed by the Arab governments. It is evident, of course, that if such an assertion is made by an Arab government they will immediately have an excuse for massing troops themselves, saying that they are there for defense. Yet these troops can as easily be used for aggression when a country is surrounded on every side by hostile countries. Thus, as soon as Jordan made its statement Egypt joined in. Only a very strong statement by the one neutral, disinterested group in the area can prevent a possible beginning of war which might be very difficult to bring to an end.
Speculation grows from day to day as to the real meaning of the Polish uprisings. It may well be that we of the West will have to recognize that there are fights within Communist groups themselves. Basically, people who believe in Communism may not want the Soviet type of development and yet may think that Communism really can have more freedom than the Soviets have allowed. We cannot take it for granted that an uprising is an uprising against the whole Communist idea. It may well be directed only against certain oppressive measures, while still representing a belief in the basic theories of Communism. This, of course, is what Tito has been demonstrating. His acceptance by the Soviet Union may be giving encouragement to other basically Communist countries for uprisings against certain aspects of Communism, but without repudiating the whole Communist idea.