MAY 31, 1958
HYDE PARK—There was some good news in the newspapers the past few days. For one thing the government has established an experimental system of transcontinental airways on which all flying will be subject to ground control, regardless of weather. Some activity along this line is very gratifying because we certainly needed something done.
Another encouraging thing was the House passage by a good margin of a bill for admission of Alaska as a state. Now it remains to be seen what the Senate will do.
I would like to see Alaska and Hawaii admitted at the same time, but if we get one, we probably will get the other later.
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As long as President Eisenhower has to deal with General Charles de Gaulle (which at this writing it looks as if he will have to do) it is encouraging to know that he likes him because personal relationships do mean a great deal. But the Socialists continue to be opposed to de Gaulle and the Communists have joined in the demonstrations against him. In coming to power, he would not find the same problems he had immediately after the war, but he would find others that are, on the whole, more difficult to settle.
After the war there was unanimous decision in France as to what had to be done and all of the people joined together with one purpose—that of recovery.
But now within France there is division of purpose on many different questions. These will need fresh thinking, and I have a feeling that this is as difficult for de Gaulle and his supporters as it seems to be for some of our own leaders in this country.
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It was amusing to note that three American airmen wandered across into East Germany, were arrested and are being held while efforts are being made to obtain their release.
There are really no boundary lines that can be seen between East and West Germany, and it is easy to wander across the border. I am sure that these boys were surprised to find themselves under arrest.
It is hard for young Americans to realize, even when in military service, that they cannot wander at will, no matter what part of the world they are in. It seems as though we should begin, even in the European areas of the world, to reach a point where we have no fear of any contact with each other—a fear so strong that we now arrest people for crossing boundary lines even if they have committed no crime during their stay in the forbidden area.
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It was sad that Cardinal Stritch, the first native-born American to be appointed a member of the Roman Curia in the Vatican, died before he could assume his duties.
At least he had the pleasure of knowing that he had been chosen, and nothing could take away from him his long years of faithful service in this country and for which he is honored and respected.