AUGUST 6, 1959
KITTERY, Me.—Although President Eisenhower termed it "one of the worst-kept secrets," the announcement that Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev would come to the United States next month was rather astonishing. We have come a long way since the days when nobody would even listen to having Mr. K. here, and we were insistent that there would be no summit meeting unless certain definite things had come about in the current foreign ministers' meeting. Now we will have a summit meeting, apparently regardless of what has been accomplished beforehand.
Personally, I am very glad that the Prime Minister of the Soviet Union is coming to our country. I think he could never have acquired a true picture of us except through his own eyes.
I know all the complications of security and I can only hope, in spite of the rigid safety precautions that will have to be set up, that it will be possible for Mr. Khrushchev, who is quick in his observations, to learn more than he has ever known about the American people and the resources in skill and character that are back of the U.S. strength.
No one could ever describe to Mr. Khrushchev the feel of this country, but I think he will be able to feel it himself, and I hope that as far as possible he will meet Americans in their own homes, at work and at play. He will find us less disciplined than are the Soviet people, but disciplined enough when the need arises and with a tremendous creative capacity.
It will be hard on the President to have to go to visit our Western allies and later in the autumn to go to the Soviet Union, but I can understand why he would feel an obligation to do so. He must explain to our allies the change in our point of view and he must give them an opportunity to realize his interest in their safety and their economic problems.
On the discouraging side of the news picture is the report that the steel companies and the union, while they exchange blame, have found no solution to the deadlock through negotiation. It will be some time before the full impact of this strike will be felt, but it seems to me a dangerous thing. If the negotiation sessions go on too long with no results we will begin to hear from people in the areas of the country that are really affected by unemployment.
A young friend of mine in Miami, Fla., Claremont F. Carter, who a short time ago made a survey of the teachers' situation in his state that even attracted the governor's attention, now is anxious to start an international pen-pal exchange. His object is to have young people of all countries write to one another, which, of course, some are doing now, but he would like to see the countries reduce their postage for this purpose to a nominal sum because young people can ill afford the high expense on foreign letters.
He feels this exchange will create a great deal of good feeling among the young people of the world. Anyone who is interested in the details of his plan can write to him at 7320 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami 38, Fla.
On Tuesday Miss Corr and I left Hyde Park at nine o'clock in the morning and drove up to New Haven, Conn., where a summer seminar for foreign students at Yale is in progress. After spending an hour with them, we drove on to Cambridge, Mass., where at 4:30 Mr. Henry Kissinger introduced me to the Harvard summer seminar for foreign students.
It was a long day but one that I enjoyed very much, as I am deeply interested in these students who come to our country to take back to their countries a better knowledge of us and our way of life.