DECEMBER 6, 1954
NEW YORK—Recently it has seemed to me that President Eisenhower has taken a very courageous stand that deserves the understanding of the American people. He has rejected the suggestion for a blockade of Communist China—a proposal made by a group of people who do not seem fearful of acting in a way which might bring on war, and who are probably backed by some of the military elements in our government. The President holds that a blockade of Communist China would be an act of war. He feels that this is a question which should be brought up in the U.N. before any action is taken that might lead to war, and I think all sober-minded people in this country will agree with the President in this stand.
The Soviet Union and Communist China are of course eager to create situations in which they may force us to take actions that will alienate our closest allies. We must prove that this cannot be done. We must show that we see through these tactics and, while we will press on for the release of the airmen now jailed in Communist China, we will not be forced into moves that may involve the world in a third global war.
It is interesting also to see the President affirm that the Republican party will not long be a force in American life unless it follows a course of progressivism. I confess to a little confusion in his further definition of what progressivism means. He says that government's relationship with the individual must be a liberal attitude; but it must also be a conservative one in relation to the national economy and the individual pocketbook. I'm not sure how this division can be made.
The President's criticism of Senator Knowland makes it clear that there is a split in the Republican party. But the President need not be discouraged by this, for there is a split also in the Democratic party. However, if the President can rally all the liberal forces behind him, he can carry tremendous strength for certain policies.
The Senate has certainly regained much stature by its vote condemning Senator McCarthy, and I think it must reassure the President as to his following and his ability to command backing in the Senate. On the whole, I think the President has gained in the last few days in respect and confidence from those Americans who love freedom and like liberal, positive leadership.
The latest bulletin about the Pope's improved condition is good news for all of us. To contemplate a difficult operation at his advanced age is not a very reassuring outlook. Everywhere there will be people praying for the Pope's continued recovery. He has been a very great and good spiritual leader for a great many people in the world.