NOVEMBER 29, 1961
DENVER—Selection of Chester Bowles as the President's special adviser on African, Asian and Latin-American affairs was, in my opinion, a wise one.
I have a feeling that, as representative to the Asian and African countries in particular, he will be decidedly effective. He has great knowledge of these two areas of the world, and the people there trust him to be objective and to understand their extremely difficult situations.
It takes patience and training to understand these civilizations that are so different from our own, and I feel that in Mr. Bowles the President may find the qualities needed to get a better foreign service attitude in these parts of the world.
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Although I have been speaking for the past few days for Bonds for Israel, it occurs to me that I have never put down on paper something of my hopes for the Near East.
Actually, I am interested in the development of every country in which I have been, and there are no people in the world I have not found sympathetic and would not like to know better. But from my very first visit to Israel I realized that the mere fact that this country was a haven for so many fleeing oppression meant there existed a particularly deep desire to help each other and to gain security and freedom.
I felt there was some kinship between the people one meets in Israel and our forefathers in the early days of our nation.
If only one could wipe out the emotional hatred which has grown from a sense of injustice in the countries around Israel, I think that country could be of immense value to the surrounding Arab world. Among the Israelis are a great many trained in administration and organization, something difficult to find in the Near East. At the same time, Israel's needs would largely be met by trading with her neighbors.
It is hard to understand the emotional reactions of people, but in this case the hatred that exists does great harm to many people in the Near East. Peace would be strengthened greatly by a solution to their problems.
My lecture trip has taken me to two of the same places I was in only a short time ago—Portland, Ore., and Denver.
I spoke Monday night in San Francisco, in the old Fairmont Hotel. I never go there without thinking of Alexander Woollcott, who used to love to stay in one of the rooms with a balcony looking out onto the harbor and where he would ask friends to come to tea with him.
I remember what a pleasure it was to sit and listen to him talk, reveling in the sunshine and view.
San Francisco is one of my favorite American cities, and though I love the view from the hotels at the top of the hill, I prefer staying down in the city itself, partly because I nearly always want to shop. Suey Chong in Chinatown always tempts me with lovely pieces of silk, and Gump's is the most marvelous place to wander around in and get ideas for Christmas gifts for friends who have everything in the world.
I shopped in both places when I was there because Mrs. Langdon Post, who is working for the Bonds for Israel organization, made every possible arrangement for my comfort. Transportation, therefore, was anything but a problem.
I also saw two of my nieces, having breakfast with them and their children, and Agar Jaicks, my nephew-in-law, drove me around Tuesday morning, so I lost no time and had a chance to visit and still make my 11 a.m. plane to Los Angeles. These glimpses of young members of my family in different places are always a joy to me.
In Los Angeles, I also planned to see my son James and his wife and Mr. and Mrs. Hershey Martin, friends with whom I always stay.
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These past few days must have been hard indeed on Gov. Nelson Rockefeller and his daughter, and even harder on Mrs. Rockefeller, who of necessity simply had to sit and wait for the news on the fate of their son Michael in New Guinea. Any kind of action is preferable to those hours of anxious waiting, and the sympathy of the whole country goes out to this young man's immediate family.