MAY 7, 1957
LONDON—Reading the London Times instead of my favorite New York newspapers is always an interesting experience for me and shows clearly the different kind of audiences to which these newspapers address themselves.
One of the first pages in the London Times is devoted to things of the theatre and music—not in London but in Vienna—and describes how the opera there again is building up its repertoire, with an emphasis on Richard Strauss' music but giving a number of performances with Italian guest artists.
The letters from readers to the Times are used and, I think, considered a much more important means of registering political opinions with the public than any of the communications which appear in our United States newspapers.
All in all, the transition from New York to London is an interesting one—no foreign language is a barrier. But, nevertheless, there is a variety of interest and a feeling of maturity and age here which I feel cannot fail to impress any visitor from the U.S.
It has been some years since I have been in London, and even though the skies so far have been gray most of the time, there have been occasional glimpses of the sun. The grass is velvety green in spite of the fact that there has been a drought of nearly three weeks.
The trees have the lovely fresh green of early spring, and flowers are everywhere. As at home, spring is a beautiful season in all European countries, and I am happy to be here. The changes made in Parliament Square have added to its charm at this time of year. Lincoln Statue has been moved to one side, but it is more imposing and better-placed, I think, than before. It is one of my favorite statues in London and I always like to see it when I come here.
The rearrangement of the square gives a sense of more space and, with the flowers, there is much more color. Many repairs are still being made, but on the whole, the results of the war have been wiped out.
Lady Reading and I had the pleasure of lunching with the Queen Mother last Friday and then we went to Lady Reading's home in the country for a peaceful evening and a day. Unfortunately, I had to return to London Saturday evening, for on Sunday morning I went to Manchester to make the first of my speeches for Youth Aliyeh, returning again to London early Monday morning.
As yet I have not had much of an opportunity to gauge the seriousness of the differences now existing between the United States and Great Britain on policies in the Near East, but I know that it will take time to reestablish the confidence and close cooperation which existed during and after World War II. The sooner this is done the better it will be for the West.
The two English-speaking countries of the world, without language barriers to overcome, certainly should arrive at a better understanding more quickly than is possible in other areas of the world.