AUGUST 1, 1958
HYDE PARK—First we send a sharp note to Premier Nikita S. Khrushchev and then he sends a sharp note to us. These exchanges of sharp notes do not make much sense if both sides want a fruitful conference on our troubles in the Middle East.
Khrushchev at one time agreed to a meeting within the United Nations Security Council. It is then that we should have accepted and gone ahead on that basis.
I can understand the Soviet Premier's desire not to sit at the same table with the representative of Nationalist China. So it would have made sense if we had followed the suggestion of Lester B. Pearson of Canada and appointed a subcommittee, representing only the heads of the great powers, to sit with the Secretary General of the council.
Aside from everything else, I think it would be a good thing to hold this meeting at the U.N. Headquarters in the U.S.A.
We are proud of our country, and we cannot help but feel that every visit paid to our country by the representative of a foreign nation is valuable to us as well as valuable to the visitor in gaining a greater understanding of the kind of people we are.
For instance, the head of the Soviet Union would find it interesting to drive up the parkway from New York, perhaps leaving it to pass by the IBM factory, and then drive through the area to the north and see the innumerable development of small homes owned by the people themselves. This, in itself, is a demonstration of our way of life that pictures do not adequately convey.
Since this type of home life is one of the fundamental differences in the lives of our people and those of the Soviet Union, I think it would help in understanding.
French Premier Charles de Gaulle wishes, of course, to go to a summit meeting representing the whole of Western Europe and has made his contacts with West Germany and Italy with that aim. So he feels that such a meeting should be held in Europe, for he has no particular attachment to the U.N. Headquarters here.
I believe, however, it is well to emphasize to all people at the highest possible level that a meeting at the U.N. Headquarters would have a meaning that could not be replaced, not even in Geneva. If all of us believe in strengthening the U.N. in every way possible, because our best chance to reach peaceable agreements is through U.N. machinery, then we must use the U.N. at every possible opportunity.
We have come to believe that the U.N. Secretary General can have a steadying influence when the world comes upon troubled waters, and a summit conference now undoubtedly would come upon such waters, so we want to give such a meeting every chance of success.
Even a small step forward means a great deal, and the longer we put off this actual sitting down together, the more difficult any kind of getting together will be.