MARCH 10, 1955
LONDON—I never come across the ocean without a feeling of how simply miraculous it is to leave New York at four o'clock in the afternoon and be here the next morning. First we had tail winds and at one point we thought we would make up the few minutes we had lost in starting but then we had a little bumpy weather and later the winds were against us, so we landed about half an hour late. There was snow on the ground at the airport here, but it was not very deep. Nevertheless, instead of being more like spring, which was what I had hoped for, it was more like winter than when Mrs. Lash and I left home.
We were greeted by the Dowager Marchioness of Reading, went through customs quickly and had our bags almost before I thought they could be out of the plane. Soon we were on familiar London streets and experiencing, I must say, rather familiar London climate, and on to a delightful welcome at Claridge's with a cheerful fire burning in our sitting room.
Princess Margaret was welcomed home in the city on Tuesday and the photographs of her waving to the crowd outside the Mansion House are very charming.
The Labor Party here is split and the papers are full of the news about the expulsion from the party of Aneurin Bevan, leader of the leftist group. I gather that the debate on defense which the Prime Minister, Sir Winston Churchill, has carried himself has been a very heated discussion.
We did a little shopping this afternoon and the High Commissioner from India, Madame Pandit, came to tea and then took us to a reception at the American Embassy. I had thought we were going to the same house where I last called on the American Ambassador and Mrs. Aldrich, but I found that they had moved to a house which is very much larger and which they have redecorated and made quite beautiful, and very convenient for large parties.
I suppose that somewhere hidden away are the rooms the Ambassador and Mrs. Aldrich really live in. With the crowd that was there Tuesday afternoon, however, you could not feel that this was anything but a very large house which would be rather overwhelming if you were ever alone.
One of the first people I saw was Mr. Chester Bowles and I was delighted even to talk to him for a few minutes and then I went searching for his wife. I progressed through the rooms meeting a number of young Americans attached to the Embassy and also some old acquaintances. We could not stay very long, as Mrs. Lash and I were dining with the Marchioness of Reading and going to the English Speaking Union to hear Mr. Bowles speak.
It is always a joy to find myself in the Hospitable House on Smith Square and to see Miss Fenno, and then to go with the Dowager Marchioness and Miss Fenno to the evening meeting was a great pleasure.
Mr. Bowles made an excellent speech and I hope he will have the opportunity to tell many of our own countrymen the observations that are uppermost in his mind after his trip to Africa and his return to India and Burma.
(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)