JULY 10, 1958
NEW YORK—The more I read about the situation in Lebanon, the less happy I am about the attitude of the Secretary General of the United Nations. And it is interesting to note that our own State Department and military people have voiced some misgivings about the Secretary General's optimism that a compromise should be worked out in Beirut.
It seems to me that any compromise is tantamount to defeat of the government, and it is the government that the West should support. This government probably could have handled the rebels long ago, for without outside help they would have been of minor importance. But with the help of outside forces, this infiltration has caused a very difficult situation.
If the government goes down, the friendship and the decision on the part of Lebanese government to keep its independence from the Nasser group of Arab countries will be a lost cause.
This will do infinite harm to the West and to every country friendly to the West in the Near East. It will also strengthen the drive of Nasser and his group of Arab countries against Israel and against any other country in the area, such as Morocco or Tunisia, which might have a desire to continue friendly relations with the West.
I think, therefore, that it is high time that the thought of compromise with Nasser and Syrian infiltration comes to an end and we declared in the U.N. that we intend to support the Lebanese government.
I am not any more anxious than anyone else to see our soldiers sent to Lebanon, but I am anxious to see the full force of our diplomatic and economic strength put behind our own friends in the Middle East.
The Administration made a happy choice in sending Herbert Hoover to Brussels. Belgium will never forget what Mr. Hoover's relief mission did for them and they recognized this by setting up a Herbert Hoover Day.
This gratitude must be pleasant, even when you have reached 83 years. To have your good work recognized by a whole nation, and to realize that you were instrumental in the relief given to many people who might otherwise have starved, must be a deep satisfaction.
After all the critical things that have been said about our exhibition in Brussels, it is reassuring to have Mr. Hoover say that "considering the amount of money available," he felt the exhibit was as impressive as any made on behalf of the American people that he had previously seen.
He considers that the architect, Edward G. Stone, has made the building remarkably good and this almost every critic has also conceded, but to have Mr. Hoover say that the exhibit represents well the American way of life is a very happy report for the President to receive. It will, I am sure, reassure the President and please Howard Cullman, who is in charge of exhibits in our building.
I personally wish we could stop comparing whatever we do with what the Soviets do. It would be wiser simply to try to make our own exhibits, or our own actions, as good and as representative of our own ideals as possible and let the comparisons go.