FEBRUARY 19, 1958
SAN FRANCISCO—The United States has been reported ready to mediate in the crisis between France and Tunisia. I hope we mediate successfully, and I wish fervently that we would get rid of all weapons loaned or sold to other countries, for I must say it was a shock to read that our planes had been the ones used in bombing the Tunisian town.
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It is interesting that the rebels in Indonesia are opposed to the Communists and that President Sukarno will be asked by them to name a government free of Communists. The situation seems a difficult one for President Sukarno to meet and at some point he evidently will have to make up his mind whether to give up his plan for a government into which Communists might be admitted or whether he can avoid civil war only by setting up a Communist-free government.
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The newspapers here repeat the story that Harold E. Stassen was practically forced out because the President decided that he had out-lived his usefulness as disarmament adviser.
The President has sent him a friendly letter and wished him well in the future, though, of course, he did not come out in favor of Mr. Stassen's candidacy for the Governorship of Pennsylvania.
It has been known for some time that Mr. Stassen and Secretary of State John Foster Dulles did not agree on negotiation with the Russians or on our policy for disarmament. Mr. Stassen will be running for the Governorship, which has been held by a Democrat, George M. Leader. Since Governor Leader cannot succeed himself, he probably will run for the U.S. Senate, but Pennsylvania has been leaning towards the Democrats of late and it may well be that Mr. Stassen will find himself in real difficulty.
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The Friendship Church in New York City is holding on Thursday (February 20) a dinner to honor their pastor, the Rev. Thomas Kilgore Jr.
Dr. Kilgore has done remarkably good work along social lines in his area. He is forward-looking and, because of the difficulties of young people in the area of the city where his church is situated, he feels the need not only of planned recreation but of professional psychological counsel.
The church has established at 170 West 130th Street the House of Friendship Community Center and Mental Health Clinic. It is only three years old, and it depends on the members of the church and of the surrounding community for support to carry on its work. It also is asking the wider community that is concerned about the improvement of conditions in Harlem to help expand these services.
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I received another letter from the Japan Council Against Atomic and Hydrogen Bombs, and I see that we are just about ready to settle on the area in the Pacific where we will make our next test. The Japanese have called meetings in Japan, which have been well attended, to protest the continuation of these tests. They say in their petition:
"We are concerned, not only because of the danger of radioactivity, which even in "clean bombs" can add to the existing amount, influencing our health and menacing our future generations. Nor does it constitute our major opposition that the tests are going to be carred on in the high seas, with the spacious danger zone set up to the violation of international law and giving serious damage to our fishing industries. We warn against the scheduled tests first and foremost because they are a dangerous expression of the preparation for nuclear war."
They feel that we should stop the tests and then go on negotiating with the Soviet Union. This is difficult for our defense authorities to accept. Whether they ever will or not remains to be seen, and yet the plea of our friends in the Pacific should carry some weight and certainly demands consideration on our part.