JANUARY 9, 1960
CHICAGO—I see by the papers that the President will visit Brazil, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay during a 10-day flying trip to South American beginning the latter part of February.
I had a letter from a South American who has become a naturalized American citizen and he was under the impression that the President was going to stop only in Brazil and Argentina. This upset him because he felt that the Argentine had favored Germany during the war and, therefore, was not worthy to be one of two countries to be visited by an American President.
Fortunately, the President will visit four countries, and it may well be that there will be stopovers in other countries, even if only for a short time. His mission will be one of goodwill, but into a mission of goodwill there must enter some practical economic considerations. One could not very well leave Argentina out in discussing financial and economic plans that would affect practically the whole of South America.
It also was announced that following his visit to the Soviet Union about the middle of the year the President will probably tour to a number of other countries. The places mentioned are Japan, the Philippines, Taiwan and Korea. Of course, he has already visited Korea and, if I remember rightly, he has also been in Taiwan. So, he will have the good fortune of being able to compare conditions as he sees them today with the conditions he saw on his previous trip.
This is very helpful, I think, in judging the value of foreign aid that has been given.
We continue to hear of desecration of religious monuments and churches, particularly those belonging to the Jews, in our own country and in other countries.
I am horrified that we should permit such demonstrations, for I am quite sure that these crimes are being committed by people who are not really conscious of the significance of what they are doing. Perhaps a few of their number may know what they want to do, but the others just join in for the fun or the thrill of being part of a group.
I hope every citizen will think over the implications of what such behavior does here and abroad. We are permitting the worst elements in our own country to give a deplorable example to the world.
Everyone must have been concerned and saddened by the accident to the Miami-bound airliner in North Carolina the other morning. After every such accident, of course, extra safety is sought and people try to safeguard those who fly in every possible way. So, one is always glad to know that investigations are being made and that they will be followed up.
But there never seems to be any sure way of avoiding accidents. They occur by car and by train and by boat and even if one stays at home. So, all one can do is to ask people to take the best precautions they are able to take in all methods of travel.