JUNE 18, 1957
HYDE PARK—The best news in a long time was the announcement from London that the Soviet Union had accepted the Western proposal "that an internationally controlled system be established to assure observance of an agreement to suspend nuclear tests."
I think Harold E. Stassen, the President's special assistant for disarmament, deserves great credit for the patience with which he has worked.
A great deal was made of the fact that he had shown certain disarmament proposals to the Soviet Union without first showing them to our allies. I have an idea this was not half as important as it was made to appear by those in Washington who are not overly fond of Mr. Stassen. I think that in talking to Valerian A. Zorin, chief Soviet delegate to the London talks, Mr. Stassen probably was forced to show at least some of our suggestions before revealing them to our allies.
It disturbs me that while both Mr. Stassen and Jules Moch of France mentioned the limitation of production of fissionable materials to peaceful uses during the period when nuclear explosions are to be stopped, Mr. Zorin passed over this stipulation completely, saying only that he wished we would not keep linking one proposal with the other.
It happens that these proposals are really closely linked, and if one is accepted, the other must be accepted, too. For unless the provision limiting the production of fissionable materials for military purposes is accepted, we have done very little to stop the nuclear arms race.
It is tremendously important that the Western countries present a united front on the whole disarmament question. I credit much of the success in moving forward to Mr. Stassen and his contacts with the President, who without question wants to move toward general disarmament. Credit, too, should go to M. Moch, who has stuck to his job regardless of what French government changes have taken place.
I think it is this kind of hard, patient, persistent work which eventually will bring us some measure of success, and there is no field in which I am happier to see advances made. Great advances, I know, will not come about until more world barriers are broken down, but every step is cause for rejoicing.
I also was happy to note that Congress has ratified our entry into an organization for the development of atomic energy for peacetime uses.
Senator William F. Knowland of California finally was satisfied by a provision giving us the right to withdraw under certain circumstances. And so the President's proposal, which gave impetus to this dream of cooperation, has gone through. We now can hope to help many nations use atomic energy for peacetime purposes even though these nations are not yet able to produce the needed materials.
I took off by plane from New York last Friday morning for Denver, Colo., to attend the wedding of my grandson, William Donner Roosevelt, to Miss Karyl Kyle. They had a very small wedding in a little chapel, with only the families present. It was followed by a small reception at the country club where they cut their cake and received the congratulations of their friends.
I had never met the young lady and was delighted to find I liked her on first acquaintance. I am looking forward to seeing her again very soon.
The two are off on their honeymoon in Bill's single-motor plane. She evidently has great confidence, as he has, in this small plane, and I hope they have an uneventful and enjoyable trip.
In Denver I found myself among people, all of whom love flying small planes, so I had very little support for my own theory that commercial planes are safer.