OCTOBER 27, 1951
En Route to PARIS, Friday—At last we can again feel that conferences are going on in Korea looking toward an armistice. It seems to me that what should happen is an agreement to stop the fighting all along the lines where they now stand. The Chinese Communists, however, seem to want the whole peace treaty settled before they stop fighting.
I am primarily interested in seeing the fighting stopped and the slaughter of men come to an end on both sides. Our own men have been magnificent in Korea, but it does not make me any happier when I see that we have destroyed a number of other human beings. I would like to see wars come to an end everywhere and difficulties be settled by judicial procedure.
I have an interesting letter from a lady—I presume it is a lady, though it is not signed—in which she makes some odd statements. One is that she has never heard me say a kind word for our fighting boys.
That seems strange because I wrote a good deal about them during the last war and in a good many theatres of war, and I certainly was saying kind things about them.
The last sentence in the letter says: "Your boys are safe and so are the city college boys. Why are they not in Korea? Answer that in MY DAY. I dare you."
My dear lady, the answer is simple and the same in both cases. When the boys in college anywhere are needed they will be called. They are only in college as long as the government allows them to be there. When men who fought through the last war are needed they will be called. It happens that mine are not as young as they once were, but if the need comes, of course, they will go just as they went before. It hardly was necessary to dare me to answer such simple questions.
Have you seen a book called, "The Cowboy and His Horse" by Sydney E. Fletcher? The illustrations are quite beautiful and while it is intended for teen-age boys I think anyone interested in the West will want to have it. To a collector of Americana the book is a must, for this type of life is passing and shortly the cowboy and his horse probably will be taken over by the cowboy and his car.
On last Monday night I saw Christopher Fry's "A Sleep of Prisoners," which was given at St. James Church in New York City. The setting was very beautiful but I found it somewhat difficult to hear what was said by the actors and, for that reason, until I read the play I do not feel that I am qualified to express an opinion. It left me with an impression that the sleep of prisoners was pretty disturbed and filled with highly unpleasant emotions. The atmosphere was one charged with apprehension and horror, and I may even find that when I read Mr. Fry's play I will find him slightly difficult to understand!
The ceremony at City Hall in New York on Wednesday in commemoration of United Nations Day was well managed and impressive. School children were there to receive their medals and prizes from John Golden, chairman. Mayor Impellitteri and his wife, who was co-chairman of U.N. Day, were there also to take part in the ceremonies. And Grover Whalen presided with his usual efficiency.