OCTOBER 26, 1959
NEW YORK—I am very glad that President Eisenhower is still urging a summit conference before the end of the year, and I hope he will persuade General de Gaulle that it is possible to have a meeting of the West's leaders this year and still prepare for it adequately.
It seems to me that there is little chance of any great decisions being made in the first conference. This is more likely to be a series of conversations through which the top leaders will gradually sound each other out and perhaps come to some methods of cooperation. It is essential that in these meetings the West should have agreed on a strong and positive policy and should know what their joint objectives are. It would be foolish to expect great results at the first meeting and that is why I would like to see it come off soon, so that there would be a better chance for work and preparation for the second.
With the steel strike continuing, the Appeals Court has ordered talks to continue between the two sides who have been so adamant. The President is beginning to realize how great is the impact of this strike on the whole economy, and the reports of losses going into the billions of dollars should awaken the public to the seriousness of the situation. With profits as high as they have been shown to be for the companies, it seems to me they should realize that they could give a greater share to labor without passing on the extra cost to the consumer and still make a fair profit for their own stockholders.
I have just finished reading Lillian Smith's new novel, "One Hour." It is, I think a great experience for any reader. This is a fascinating story and a careful psychological study. It creates living characters and at the same time presents a picture of small town mentality which is frightening but realistic.
I have also read the manuscript of a short novel, "Strike For A Kingdom," by Menna Gallie, a Welsh author, which may be published over here this coming winter. Though it is somewhat removed from our life in similar villages in the U.S., still there is charm and interest about it and I think when it does appear many people will spend an interesting and enlightening hour reading it.
I am always interested to hear of new and young artists and I have just been informed of a concert to be given at Town Hall on the afternoon of November 3 by young Howard Aibel, an honor graduate of the Julliard School of Music. He won the Walter W. Naumburg Foundation Award this year, so I think that anyone who is able to go to his concert will enjoy a pleasant in [Text missing. -Ed.]