DECEMBER 7, 1957
MINNEAPOLIS—I am glad Adlai Stevenson decided not to attend the NATO conference in Paris because, as he said, he "would be without authority and necessarily identified with decisions I might not always agree with and could not publicly oppose."
It seems to me that unless Mr. Stevenson were to become the Secretary of State, in which case he would have full authority to carry out his own ideas, it would be impossible to accompany Secretary John Foster Dulles and President Eisenhower or Vice-President Richard M. Nixon to the NATO meeting.
To be merely a consultant in Paris would mean that Mr. Stevenson could not really publicly criticize the Administration's policies and that he would be tagged with agreement on them whether he agreed or not.
Secretary Dulles has suggested that the free world should not forget the political, economic and psychological warfare being carried on by the Soviet Union to extend its power throughout the world.
I don't see how anyone could forget what the Soviets are doing along these lines, for they evidently are doing better than we are. So it must be of concern to all of us, not just to Secretary Dulles.
The dinner in Lincoln, Neb., for the new chapter of the American Association for the United Nations and representatives of other organizations turned out to be a much larger affair than I had anticipated.
I spoke at the dinner and then we proceeded to the university to find a crowded auditorium with people standing in the balcony and in the halls around the meeting place.
A panel there was made up of Dr. Greenberg, chairman of the Board of Regents of the university, Chancellor Broady, who was moderator, and Clark Eichelberger and myself.
Each of us spoke briefly and then there were questions from the floor which showed an increased interest in the world situation. One of the students spoke on the need for student understanding of world questions. There is much cooperation of the schools there in the study of world affairs and the United Nations.
The next morning I went to the same hall at the university to address a meeting held in cooperation with our Collegiate Council for the United Nations. The talk was carried by wire to other rooms, too, and apparently I did as well in attracting the interest of the university's young people as did Senator John Kennedy last year.
I have been saying that I welcomed the Russian sputniks because they have awakened the interest of all of our people in the latent possibilities of our Soviet adversary. I was told of one result which I was particularly glad to hear about.
A woman, speaking of her 16-year-old son, said that he was quite brilliant and a good student in science and had been lacking in enthusiasm. Then the first Russian sputnik was launched and he was awakened to the need of putting all of his capacities to work, whereas previously he had been far more interested in sports than in his academic work.
Now, for the first time, he came home with nothing but top marks and was really working at his physics studies.
If this same result could be found throughout the country, the Russian sputniks will have done us a great favor, for in the hands of young people and in their willingness to prepare to meet communism's challenge to freedom and democracy lies the future world trend.