JULY 24, 1958
NEW YORK—If and when the heads or the foreign ministers of the major powers meet to try to resolve the problems of the Middle East, it seems to me that the best place for such a meeting would be in the United Nations.
Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev has suggested, and we would certainly agree, that Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold should be at such a meeting. Khrushchev's sudden suggestion of a summit conference last week was, of course, a propaganda move, but if such a meeting does come about I hope the results will be far-reaching.
I believe that when anyone has to make proposals at a meeting of this kind across a conference table that a better understanding does develop—and clarification of the meaning of words at least is bound to be one of the results.
It was almost amusing last weekend to read in the Soviet note of the weapons that that nation has, particularly in the intercontinental ballistic missiles field. The Soviets must think us very naive if we were to forget for a minute the strength of our opponents, both in conventional armament and in modern weapons.
But even as every once in a while we are given these reminders we know quite well that the Russians are not forgetting for a moment where our strength lies, particularly in atomic weapons and, on the long haul, in the power of production. We are still far ahead in this country productionwise, and that fact is never forgotten by the Soviet Union. This power to produce more and faster than the Russians is probably one of the most potent reasons for their restraint and comparative politeness.
I was also glad to read a few days ago that the Red Cross had finally arranged the release of the nine United States Army men who had been held for six weeks by the East German authorities. Their helicopter, as you remember, had landed by error in East Germany and they were taken captive.
Feeling against the Americans and the British in the Soviet Union, in East Germany and in other satellite countries has run very high, and organized mobs have demonstrated against the U.S. and Britain, telling them to get out of the Middle East, among other places, and "let the people have freedom."
Mr. Khrushchev talked piously about the right of people to self-determination, and one wonders if his listeners ever give a thought to Hungary, where the people were given very little chance for self-determination as to their government.
These are days in which most of us go on making our plans for our daily lives and for our future with little enough realization of how very precarious that future may be. Nevertheless, this is the only way that human beings can live, and so it is important that people preserve this attitude.
In Hyde Park over last weekend I talked with some representatives of Greer School.
Greer School is a children's community called Hope Farm, which is located in our Dutchess County, New York.
Children come to Hope Farm to live on an all-year basis, and in summertime they also set up a vacation camp. Many children from broken homes find security, happiness and education at this school where affection goes out to all of the youngsters. They are given every chance to develop their potentialities.
Just at present the school is asking the support of people all over the country, and since they are developing some of the needed answers to the problem of juvenile delinquency I hope the response will be generous from all those who would like to be friends of Hope Farm.