NOVEMBER 25, 1959
HYDE PARK—The President will be starting shortly on his trip that will take him to so many places in the world, among others India. In each place difficult situations will face him.
For instance, Prime Minister Nehru of India has requested the Communist Chinese to take certain steps before a meeting can be arranged between him and the Red Chinese Premier. One can only hope that some agreement may be reached because this situation is one of the most delicate at the present time.
I regret very much that the President is going to visit Generalissimo Franco in Spain. I know that we have important bases in Spain and I realize that for certain reasons it may be necessary to negotiate with the present Spanish government. Also, I understood the reasons for recognizing the government. Diplomatic and trade relations were essential under the circumstances.
But to be visited by the President seems to me a mark of special honor to a government, and this man, even though he is the established ruler of Spain, not only remained neutral in World War II, but prior to that had brought in Germany and Italy and ruthlessly put down what was, I still believe, a genuine effort of the people to gain more freedom.
I know that it has been claimed that this effort was inspired by the Communists, but I have known many people who were in Spain at the time and who insist that the Communists only gained power because no other nation came to aid the Spanish republic. The Spanish people fighting for the republic were grateful for any support in their struggle against their own Fascist leaders, since Mr. Franco was aided by Germany and Italy.
This is an old story now and our memories are very short, but I happen to see occasionally correspondents who now live in England and in America who go back to the first beginnings and insist that it was a genuine effort on the part of the Spanish people to obtain freedom and democracy.
Therefore, I cannot help regretting that our President is paying this type of leader the honor of a visit.
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In talking with the Latin-American correspondents who came to Hyde Park the other day I was interested to find that they felt the real trouble between the United States and their countries lay in our not doing something to prevent their tremendous loss by the lowering of the price of coffee on the world market.
As I think this over, it looks to me as though there should be some cooperative arrangement to take up the slack in good years when there is an excess of coffee, since this may not be a condition that would exist the following year.
I wonder if there could be some United Nations or other group action that would help the economies of these countries.
It may well be that there should not be so much land in coffee in South American countries. Perhaps a real survey on how to differentiate or rotate their crops might provide one of the answers to their economic difficulties.