JULY 17, 1958
HYDE PARK—It is interesting how easy it is in all Central and South American countries to stir up the students in the universities and even in the high schools. Dr. Milton Eisenhower made a most sane and conciliatory speech in Panama, and I think the older people realized that he was there really trying to better relations between our countries, and to understand some of the basic difficulties in the hope of making some wise recommendations.
Dr. Milton Eisenhower is a very fine person, and fortunately he understands students. There is a genuine difficulty in the Canal Zone, for there has long been a desire on the part of Panama to be considered in complete control of the canal.
American money and American lives went into building the canal, and it is a vital link between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
Perhaps the only answer to difficulties experienced in so many areas of the world over connecting links, such as the Panama Canal, is to ask the United Nations to take over all these areas and administer them for all the peoples of the world. They should be open to all people on equal terms, and those who have done the building and paid—often in human lives—for the initial enterprise, should be compensated through the United Nations by the nations of the world, who would then, through their membership in the United Nations, become co-owners of these international passageways.
This whole question is worth considering carefully both by governments and by people. For, if we come through our present difficulties without an all-out war, we should try to think ahead to prevent sore spots, and this is one area in which a number of sensitive spots may develop.
The Cuban rebels have broken their promises before on the release of some of our kidnaped men. It remains to be seen whether they will keep their promise now and begin to allow any of the promised 29 to come out.
One wishes that we had no part, either through arms or training, in what should be entirely an internal question. Cuba has not had a satisfactory government, and unrest has existed and complaints of conditions have been the order of the day for a long time.
But the people of Cuba have had enough time to develop the ability to settle their own difficulties. Once our men are safely released, I hope we can allow this struggle to be settled internally.
The photograph of Sherman Adams in last Tuesday's newspapers, reading the tribute to Louis L. Strauss, was to me an arresting picture, because here is a man who looks the typical New England conservative, simple and honest, and still he finds himself involved in the Goldfine muddle.