JULY 7, 1955
HYDE PARK—We celebrated the Fourth here in very quiet fashion, staying at home most of the day but having a goodly number of people to play tennis during the morning and for lunch.
My daughter and son-in-law, Dr. and Mrs. James Halsted, came down from Syracuse where Jim is now at the Veterans Hospital in charge of medical services. They brought with them Anna's youngest son, Johnny, who is going to work this summer at Franklin Jr.'s farm at Poughquag. After lunch they went off to take Johnny to the farm and settle him, and then returned to Syracuse. Anna's oldest son, Curtis, and his wife, Ruth, had to return to New York, from where Curtis had to go on to Boston where he is now stationed with the Army.
I asked my son John to read the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution to all of the young people, for we had 10 youngsters between the ages of two and 16 over the past weekend. The youngsters, however, were much more interested in sparklers after dark and spending all possible time in the pool. The Declaration of Independence and the Constitution and the Bill of Rights remind them of school!
It was a good thing that the long weekend came during such a hot spell, for many people were able to get to the country and find some relief. Our swimming pool has been in almost constant use. I don't think anything gives the children more comfort than being able to plunge into the pool and stay there for an hour at a time. They have a wonderful game they call "Red Rover," and that seems to take all their interest and energy for long periods of time.
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Our newspapers announced last Sunday that in our policy at the Geneva conference we would assume that the Soviet Union wanted primarily a reduction in the costs of its armaments. Of course, this is a case where we might have a chance to do some real bargaining.
It might well be for the whole world if the Soviet Union had other things they considered even more important than spending on armaments, but it is a fair assumption that that will be one of the things that we can use as a bargaining point. We know that consumer goods have not been produced in sufficient quantities in the Soviet Union and that they are anxious to give their people more of the pleasures and comforts of life. This will be done, of course, and the effort will be made to make it appear that they are giving something that no one could have except in the Soviet Union.
This would not be true, as we all know, but one cannot blame them for trying to make it appear really a great advantage that they are gaining over the Western powers.
In the home situation I was interested to note this past week that Senator Knowland says there is no shift in Republican policy over the Dixon-Yates contract. He maintains that only a change of facts caused a review of the contract and, therefore, he sees no Democratic gain.
The Democrats, however, seem to feel that it is a gain. Not to have this particular plan go through must mean something, so perhaps both political parties will feel they have gained their ends and be happy about it!