JANUARY 21, 1959
NEW YORK—It certainly seems that Soviet Deputy Premier Anastas I. Mikoyan made quite an impression on my newspaper friends. They even admired his ability to answer questions in the business world. Many considered him, I think, a most adroit gentleman, and I am not surprised for why would he have been chosen to come here unless he had very special qualifications.
It was amusing to read that Mr. Mikoyan said his trip to this country had convinced him that neither ordinary Americans nor businessmen wanted war. He also said, I am told, "Let us live and let live," and that he hoped there would be an end to "nyet, nyet, nyet" in Soviet-American relations and an introduction of "da, da, da" (yes, yes, yes).
Not many hours after he said these things on his tour of the country, however, he seemed to have changed his tune after meeting with President Eisenhower and State Department officials. The latter certainly couldn't see eye to eye with the Russian representative on increased and expanded trade relations with the Soviet Union.
Most of us can agree with a number of things Mr. Mikoyan said during his tour, but he must have known long ago that we were not the ones who wanted war. But neither do we want to do everything in the way that the Soviets want it to be done, and the real question is whether the Soviets will decide that there must be some give and take on both sides.
I hope they accept this, for I think it is quite possible for us to do much for each other that will be good for both of us, but neither one of us can have everything just the way we want it. There must be give and take on both sides.
Last week when I was on a trip for the American Association for the United Nations, everything went as smoothly as possible until we woke up on Wednesday morning in Chicago—after I had made my third speech the night before—to find a fog so dense that we could not see across the street from our hotel. Needless to say, the 8 o'clock morning plane we were supposed to take to Dallas was postponed till noon. None of us became too anxious, however, because the first really important engagement in Dallas was for me to speak at a dinner and then at a mass meeting in the evening.
At noon, though, we began to worry, for the fog was as thick as ever. The airport kept telling us "it is about to clear," but nothing happened. We called Dallas and consternation reigned there, but they soon realized that if it were at all possible to leave Chicago we would do so.
So we sat by the telephone all afternoon, casting anxious looks out of the window at frequent intervals In desultory fashion I read, so perhaps the time was not entirely lost. But I can't say that I would choose to spend an entire day in a hotel room with a fog refusing to lift and the people in a distant city moaning over the telephone every now and then because they had to decide whether to announce over the radio that there would be a meeting that evening.
Finally, it became too late to reach Dallas even in time for the evening meeting, so it was called off and I promised to visit them in April.
By late afternoon the fog began to lift and in the early evening the planes began to take off. I had some personal engagements over the weekend, so I spent Friday and Saturday in Sarasota, Fla., with my uncle, David Gray, and was back in New York on Sunday afternoon.