NOVEMBER 15, 1956
SCHENECTADY, N.Y.—Dedication ceremonies at the Woodrow Wilson memorial in Washington, D.C., last Sunday were very impressive, I thought—simple but dignified. And Bernard Baruch's address was very fine.
I hoped to stop at Dean Sayre's house for tea after the ceremonies, but unfortunately could not make it, having barely enough time to make my 6 o'clock plane. The trip back to New York was uneventful and I reached home in plenty of time for a late supper.
I never did catch up with my reading of the Sunday newspapers. On Monday morning I had the great pleasure of meeting Madame Kelthy at breakfast. What an interesting face she has! She must be a woman in her 60s, with gray hair.
Madame Kelthy spent more than four years in a Hungarian prison and came out to become a member of the Nagy regime.
She is a Communist, belonging to the Social Democratic party. But she naturally understands the desire of her people, while remaining Communists, to do their own policing and to be free of Soviet troops.
I gathered that she thinks no one in Hungary wants to go back to the old regime of large estates and concentrated power. Naturally, the people want to own land and land reform is of great importance, but hardships have continued to exist. Even though World War II ended more than 10 years ago, there are Hungarian children who have never seen a banana or a piece of chocolate.
I hope that by now the Russians have permitted the Red Cross supplies and International Red Cross workers to enter Hungary. And, above all, I hope that the supplies are distributed by the International Red Cross itself so that they reach those who need them most.
How curious it is that the Soviet Union can condemn interference by violence in Egypt and at the same time enter a satellite and bend its people to the Soviet will by force instead of permitting them to settle their differences at the ballot box under the supervision of the United Nations.
I suppose the Soviets will contend that since the Hungarian uprising started as a difference between Communist groups, the Russians had to come in to restore law and order.
Now that law and order is being restored, let us hope the Russians will retire their tanks, their soldiers and their secret police, permitting the Hungarians to settle their internal difficulties themselves.
The International Rescue Committee was accused by the U.S.S.R. of inciting to rebellion. It is understandable that the Soviets should look for a scapegoat rather than confess they had not been successful in meeting Hungary's economic problems and achieving at least some basic security for that country's citizens.
I attended at noon Monday a luncheon of the New York chapter of the Association for Aid to Retarded Children at which I presented a plaque to Pearl Buck in recognition of her services to these unfortunate youngsters.
It was a well-attended meeting and I think the association is doing a remarkable job. I hope it will achieve great success and help all those mothers of retarded children who in the past have had trouble finding a place to help them teach their children and to develop them as far as possible.