OCTOBER 12, 1959
NEW YORK —My Friday morning lecture in the Town Hall at Dearborn was well attended, as was the luncheon afterward. They had arranged for a question period to follow the luncheon, and I think we could have carried that into late afternoon had I not been obliged to catch a plane back to New York!
I tried to finish off the piles of mail awaiting me, but I could not go through all of them before the time came to start for Hyde Park. Dr. and Mrs. David Gurewitsch drove me up. We left about nine in the evening and had a very pleasant drive. In the country, summer seems still on hand. The air was warm all the way up from the city, and next morning I found everything much greener than one expects at this time of year. There has been no real frost and flowers are still blooming in the garden.
The day was fairly busy because we had the pleasure of having the Crown Prince and Princess of Ethiopia lunch with us. They are here unofficially; they came very quietly to Hyde Park and afterward visited my husband's grave and the house and library. They recalled the Emperor's visit and seemed interested and pleased to be here. They told me that English is now the second language taught in their schools. Before the war, French was generally spoken, and certainly the Prince and Princess both speak beautiful French and good English. They are perhaps a little more hesitant when they speak English, though they seemed to understand everything that was said.
I think it was a surprise to many in this country that the Conservatives in England won the election with such a marked gain in their voting strength. It certainly was an endorsement by the country of Prime Minister Macmillan's policies both at home and abroad. I think the feeling in Britain was that the nation was gaining in economic strength and that Mr. Macmillan's efforts had made him a greater influence in the international scene. The Liberals, whose popular vote was doubled, are reported to feel that they may be moving up to replace Labor and become one of the major parties. In any case, they will have influence in the next Parliament.
According to Mr. Macmillan, he will push for a summit conference in the fairly near future. It will be interesting to see how our government reacts to that. A summit conference needs a unified position among the big nations of the West. Everyone will be watching to see whether this unity can be brought about and a real position of strength achieved vis-a-vis the Soviets on the many difficult questions that will have to come up in any summit conference.