APRIL 28, 1960
NEW YORK. Wednesday—President Syngman Rhee of South Korea has resigned and new elections will soon take place. This is encouraging news, and I hope it will lead to some real change in South Korea so that the people may have a taste of real democracy and some kind of quiet may reign in that area.
I imagine the recent meeting between Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru and Premier Chou En-lai has led to some improvement in understanding between the two men. Apparently no progress was really made, however, in settling the border dispute, but there is an agreement that ministers will meet later on and "every effort should be made....to avoid friction and clashes in the border areas."
Like Soviet Premier Khrushchev, Mr. Chou does not like to change his line of talk. Let us hope that in both cases action will be slightly more conciliatory than their talk. Otherwise, it would look as though the summit conference would have a tough time on the German problem and the Indian-Chinese ministers would have a tough time over the Indian-Chinese border.
The other night I went to see "The Best Man" by Gore Vidal, in which Melvyn Douglas, Lee Tracy and Frank Lovejoy play principal parts, and it was most delightful.
Of course, one has to be interested in politics and has to have known political personalities for a number of years to get the full flavor of the play. For instance, the "President" is a priceless character, played marvelously by Lee Tracy, and I kept seeing little remembrances of the Hon. Jack Garner quite as clearly as anything connected with President Truman. And yet most people consider the part to fit President Truman only, and do not realize the very delicious mixture which to my thinking gives the play greater flavor.
Mr. Vidal began his political education at a very early age when he went to live with his grandfather, blind Senator Gore of Tennessee. He was only 10 years old and he must have been an impressionable youngster, for he accumulated a great many impressions.
Ruth McDevitt, as Mrs. Gamadge, is perfect in depicting certain kinds of national committeewomen. And I was happy to have with me Lorena Hickok, who has worked in both Democratic national and state headquarters, so that we could chuckle over the people and the situations.
My only criticism is that the moral dilemma is rather trivial, but the way in which the candidate is finally chosen is characteristic of the surprises of many conventions—Republican and Democratic alike—and we may see them again!
I have just received a wonderful little book, and anyone with imagination will enjoy it. It is called "Topper and the Giants" by Elizabeth Monath.
Mrs. Monath grew up in Vienna, Austria, and she loved dachshunds and a particular Siamese cat. Her only regret was that she could not have a small elephant to add to her menagerie. But she consoled herself with the thought that even a very small elephant would hardly fit as comfortably on her lap as a dachshund did.
I know most grownups will enjoy the book and I'm sure all children will.