MARCH 22, 1960
NEW YORK—I am very hopeful that the United States and the Soviet Union are actually going to be able to take some steps toward disarmament in their present meetings. It is so important that we come to some understanding that would start us on the way toward our desired objective—a reduction of military arms—that I hope we will not insist on having everything just the way we want it.
At the present time our relations with Cuba are at a very precarious stage. Yet, this is an island so near to us that we should be able to come to understandings and to work together sympathetically.
I don't question the Cubans' right—if they wish to change their land policy—to retake land acquired by foreign interests. But I do think the Cubans should negotiate on a proper basis of indemnification. For these foreign interests have invested considerable in looking toward the future. And though at the present time the Cubans may think that their future business may come from other sources, there is no doubt in my mind that in the long run the U.S. will prove to be their best market and also their best source for investment money.
It is a very unfortunate situation at present that whatever we do we seem to do it in a way that irritates and brings out some protest from Cuban officials. Perhaps we are forgetting, in dealing with smaller countries, that it is important to think about the little things that might hurt their dignity. This is an area where perhaps we are not as careful as we should be. Being a big country we are not so sensitive to small slights as a smaller nation is bound to be.
There seems at last to be a possibility of really saving Carnegie Hall, here in New York. The bill sponsored by State Senator MacNeil Mitchell and approved by the legislature permits a city to acquire by condemnation any property "of historical or esthetic interest or value."
There is no question that Carnegie Hall is such a property. Even though in the new Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts there will be concert facilities, we certainly in this city should be able to support two auditoriums, particularly when one has such an interesting historical background and, in addition, is endowed with acoustics that endear it to the hearts of the musicians.
Last week I went to see the Lunts at the New York City Center in a revival of "The Visit" by Friederich Duerrenmatt. From my point of view it is not a very pleasant play, but it was beautifully acted and certainly it gave one more to think about than does the average theatre performance.
I also had the pleasure on Saturday night of going to the New York Philharmonic and hearing Fritz Reiner conduct a most interesting program. Rudolph Serkin was the soloist, and Concerto No. 1 by Bartok was played. The whole program was new to me and I was not at all sure I understood the music. Nevertheless, I realized later that the music left me with a sense of grandeur and that the evening was a very satisfying one.