APRIL 4, 1956
NEW YORK—Two plane crashes on successive days do not make very happy reading, but it was good that so many were saved from the Northwest Airlines stratocruiser. In both cases, it seems as though there must have been some mechanical slip-up in the care of the engines, for it was so soon after takeoff when things went wrong. Of course, one can never be sure of either complete mechanical performance or complete human performance. All one can do is to keep reminding all those concerned that safety depends on particular care.
I went again on Monday night to see "The Diary of Anne Frank." To me, it is very interesting that a play which is basically tragic, even though it has many light moments, has been able to hold the tremendous audiences it has on Broadway.
The house was packed Monday night and I realize that, though I was seeing the play for a second time, I was, if anything, finding it more interesting and more moving than the first time. I appreciated little points of acting much more, and certain lines I had not heard so well the first time carried a special impact.
It certainly was a rewarding evening and I am delighted this play received the "Tony" award. It deserves recognition as the best play on Broadway.
A little book, which I presume is privately printed, came to me today. Whoever has the good luck to receive "The Sprout Incident," as told by Belle Roosevelt (Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt), will enjoy an amusing interlude in his daily rounds.
It is a little story in which great people figure, and among the great is Gil Winant, who was our ambassador to England at the time the incident occurred.
Gil Winant was never renowned among his friends for his sense of humor, but he must have loved the chance of saying to my husband:
"If the knowledge of cooking is part of diplomatic training and if you are going to put me on the spot with the Prime Minister's wife, I must take a course of cooking at the Cordon Bleu or resign as ambassador to Great Britain."
To be serious for a minute, few of us who knew Mr. Winant ever will forget the service he rendered in Great Britain during the war and, before that, as head of the International Labor Organization. It was due to him that ILO survived World War II, because he moved its offices to Canada.
Just now a commission is to be appointed by the United States to study the value of the International Labor Organization. I understand that the trouble is that the ILO is supposed to be socialistic. As far back as I can remember, we have looked upon this organization as one of the rare places where different elements could meet together for discussion. Employers, labor and government all were represented in these meetings.
It is true that members may represent governments with economies different than ours but the real value to the U.S. lies in the fact that here is an organization which is trying to raise labor standards in the world to a point where the competition with the U.S. is less unfair. That, I think, still is something this country is interested in and is a good reason for our participation in this organization.