APRIL 27, 1960
NEW YORK. —I doubt very much whether President Syngman Rhee of South Korea, even though he renounces the leadership of the liberal party which is now a discredited political machine, will find that he himself is accepted as a nonpartisan chief executive. The opposition is demanding new elections for the two top positions and I think that it would be wise at the President's age if he decided that his work for his country had been accomplished and he could best serve by retirement.
It is always difficult for a man who has held power to retire, but in this instance the trouble we have seen in South Korea leads me to believe there will be no peace there until the kind of government which President Rhee symbolizes to the South Koreans is removed from the scene.
It looks to me as though General de Gaulle and General Eisenhower had an interesting time together looking over the old battlefields of Gettysburg. The newspaper says that they came to complete agreement on the West's stand for the forthcoming summit conference in a "quick Camp David parley."
Evidently, not much time was needed for this, which was expected to be a most difficult meeting. Perhaps mutual interests in other areas gave them the confidence they needed to work together quickly, and we will hope that it turns out that at the summit the West is as united in its position as the Communist East will be.
I had a Cuban magazine sent to me the other day, and in it an article accuses the United States of perpetrating all kinds of raids by air on Cuba. This sounded strange to me, but I decided to ask the State Department whether anything could be verified.
From the State Department I received point by point the answers as to what we have done to try to prevent anyone going in any unauthorized manner to Cuba from this country. And I was told that an article of this kind is almost entirely untrue.
I think there are ways probably in which we could have handled the Cuban situation in a better manner than we did. That the government has not made every effort to remain neutral and not to interfere seems to me self-evident, but I cannot understand the continued feeling on the part of the people of Cuba that the U.S. is trying to interfere in their new setup.
I have just had to lunch a very charming lady, Dr. Vejubul of Bangkok, Thailand. She is now on her way home by way of Geneva, where she will join Prince and Princess Wan.
Dr. Vejubul was the first woman in Thailand to graduate as a doctor, and the men doctors of her country were not very pleased so they gave her the unpleasant job of caring for the prostitutes in Bangkok. Nevertheless, she has worked as hard as she could and feels she has made great strides in helping to eliminate prostitution.
In the course of her work she had adopted 67 children who live in a house which, I gather, is adjacent to the hospital she runs. She is a little bit of a woman and when she announces that she has 67 children it takes your breath away until she gives an explanation.
I was very happy to have had the opportunity to talk with her again, as I had not seen her in a good many years. But one does not forget a personality such as hers.