AUGUST 3, 1956
HYDE PARK N.Y.—A short time ago an old friend of mine, whose father owned large holdings of land in Kenya, wrote and asked me to become a life member of the Kenya Wildlife Society.
At first I thought this was not something that I could be particularly interested in, but as I began to look into it I came to the conclusion that what this society is doing all over the world needed support. What it is doing needs to be done both in this country and in Africa.
So, to explain the society's aims, I quote here part of the letter I received from N.M. Simon, chairman of the Kenya Wildlife Society:
"The society was formed six months ago, as a result of the spontaneous realization by a large number of residents of this colony that our greatest national asset was gradually being frittered away, largely owing to apathy and the lack of a clear-cut overall policy towards our fauna.
"We regard East Africa as the last outpost of nature's dominion, and we believe that we have a very real duty and responsibility to see that adequate steps are taken now to preserve this heritage, not only for ourselves and our children, but as a unique and priceless world attraction for all men. It is not ours to do with as we will, and our responsibility stretches far beyond our own borders.
"Whilst I, and others, believe and accept this responsibility, I also realize that it is equally the duty of game lovers throughout the world to give us the moral and financial help, which is so vitally needed if we are to succeed; for we cannot hope to achieve this single-handed.
"Without a doubt, the battle to preserve our East African fauna is going to be won or lost during the course of the next few years, and unless we can, during that period, produce a 'Magna Charta' for our wild animals, there will be little left to save.
"That, in broad outline, is the problem we are up against, and I hardly need add that it is largely to our friends in the United States that we look for assistance. You alone, of all the people in the world, have the resources and the influence sufficient to save the day."
On Wednesday morning I drove up from New York to Hyde Park with my granddaughter, Chandler, and her husband, Henry Lindsley III. It is wonderful that they could make the trip East and come here when they have the opportunity of meeting so many uncles and aunts and cousins.
In the afternoon, however, I took a train back to New York to attend a dinner for Adlai Stevenson. The feeling at this dinner was one of great optimism.
I also heard much praise of Senator Kefauver and his very fine statement. People were saying his action had been taken for the good of the party and it showed that he believed in the need for unity and was willing to think of others and not solely of himself.
A number of people attending this dinner had not known Stevenson personally before, and I think the meeting will have a very beneficial result. I returned to Hyde Park on a late evening train.