APRIL 19, 1958
NEW YORK—It is difficult to see the logic in the argument advanced by the anti-American arch-rightists in the French National Assembly—that the United States is to blame for most of France's troubles in North Africa. It was this group's vote in the Assembly that brought about the repudiation of Felix Gaillard's government.
When you are in trouble, it is always easier to blame some other country than to take the blame yourself.
Now the mediation formula for the Algerian crisis, worked out by U.S. Deputy Secretary of State Robert Murphy and Harold Beeley, British Assistant Under Secretary for Foreign Affairs, and accepted by Gaillard, will remain ineffective.
Mr. Murphy has been recalled to this country and the situation in North Africa is completely unsettled and will continue to be so until it reaches a point where France will lose far more than she would have lost had she come to a reasonable settlement now.
It is regrettable that this Rightist group has again stepped in to prevent settlement of what is an impossible situation, both for France and North Africa.
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I am glad that France, Great Britain and the United States have begun talks with the Soviet Union in Moscow on the values that might come out of a summit conference. And it seems to be the general feeling that something important and concrete must come out of this conference.
As I think back to the Geneva Conference, I recall that it was the atmosphere of the conference rather than actual agreements that made a difference. It may well be that this is the case now and that talks between top people might create an atmosphere of greater confidence leading to concrete agreements in later conferences.
I do believe we must take some concrete steps toward peace, particularly in the field of disarmament, but I don't think we should feel that these accomplishments must be attained at summit meetings.
Personal contacts leading to greater confidence among individuals may be important achievements, and I think this should be borne in mind at the present time.
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I attended this week the Salute to Spring ceremonies on the steps of the New York Public Library at 42nd Street and Fifth avenue. An abundance of flowers, in spite of the fact that it was chilly, provided a festive spring atmosphere.
Speeches were short and geared to the theme, "This Is My New York, and there was an effort to represent some of the many interests centered in this great city.
Anna Rosenberg, who is co-chairman of this effort to make New York a more beautiful city, told me that the project has attracted the attention of many other cities and that they now are following our example in trying to beautify their areas. This was the purpose of the effort made here, so this news was gratifying, of course, to all concerned.