FEBRUARY 16, 1957
FRESNO, Calif.—On Wednesday we actually made the plane on time out of San Francisco and arrived in Modesto on schedule. I was greeted by the Mayor who presented me with the key to the City, and we went to stay in a charming motel which has just been built. They had a dinner there for some of the members of the Lions Club and their wives and some city officials and then I went to speak.
We had been warned that on Thursday morning there might be fog in San Francisco so we were not surprised to find that no planes were flying anywhere, in or out of San Francisco. Our hosts very kindly arranged to send us up to Santa Rosa by car and we drove directly from Modesto to Santa Rosa - a four hour drive in a very comfortable car through interesting country. At first it was a flat valley area with fruit trees and grapes. This has been largely an agricultural area but they tell me that industry is beginning to move in and a chemical plant is just going to be built in the neighborhood. What they need is some kind of industry which would employ the agricultural labor, which is used on farms during the harvesting season, when there is no farming. Some of this labor is migratory and moves all the way from the Mexican border to Canada in the course of the year. Some people seem to stay where they are and live on relief during the winter since their farm wages are not sufficient to see them through the winter months.
As we drove further north we passed some large signs reading "Fire hazard, do not throw lighted cigarettes from your car, the ground will burn." We looked more closely and found we were going through what really were peat bogs only they are cultivated and grow asparagus and we were told this is the largest asparagus growing area in the world. The farmers are very well off and whereas as a rule the canners tell the farmers the price they will get for their products in this particular area the farmers tell the canners what the price will be!
As we neared Santa Rosa we found ourselves going through somewhat hilly country with more trees though we had passed a number of long wind breaks formed by poplar trees. This is an apple growing country and in driving into the town I would say that it was a thriving county center with a great many stores and more real estate signs than I have seen anywhere, but California is a place where, like Florida, real estate is bought and sold on a speculative basis.
My morning paper did not carry a great deal of news but I did see that Mr. Dulles is about to start for Australia but will be back in time to start for Bermuda with the President to meet the British Prime Minister Mr. Macmillan there. Let us hope that these journeys will be profitable to our relationship with both Australia and Great Britain.
The papers today carry an item that interests me, namely the suggestion that the U.N. appoint a new mediator for Kashmir. I would think that the Security Council before taking this step might ask for the report of the present mediator and ask for his recommendations. It looks to me as though getting a new mediator would just be a case of putting off a decision in a case where it is difficult to make a decision and that may please India but it will not advance a permanent settlement.