MARCH 16, 1957
CHICAGO—The meeting next week between President Eisenhower and British Prime Minister Harold Macmillan in Bermuda is of very great importance and I'm sure everyone is glad to know that the President will get some rest on his way to this conference.
Groundwork for a resumption of a good working understanding between the old "unbreakable" allies—the United States, Great Britain and France—was laid, perhaps, at the President's meeting with French Premier Guy Mollet. It is vastly important to the U.S., I think, to have that alliance working again.
We are very young, comparatively speaking, in the field of international relations, where Britain has had years of experience. The British are accustomed to thinking of far-flung areas of the world in much the same way as we think of our next-door neighbor. It is difficult and a new experience for us to adapt ourselves to this worldwide concept.
I do not mean to say we should blindly follow the policies of either Britain or France, but it will be of enormous benefit to us to use their experience and knowledge to fill the gaps in our understanding of world situations.
We certainly will reach our own conclusions with a better background if we work with France and Britain than if we go it alone. Sometimes we may decide to act differently than do our allies, but we will do so with the full knowledge that only close cooperation and consultation can provide.
I am glad to know, therefore, that our President goes to Bermuda in improved health, and he takes with him my best wishes for wisdom and divine guidance in the decisions he will have to make.
The United States appeal earlier this week to Egypt to keep the fragile peace in the Middle East was not, it seemed to me, very strong. It certainly was not as strong as the statements the U.S. made to Israel a short time ago.
Are we more afraid of Egypt than of Israel?
From a military standpoint, Egypt is less to be feared. Of course, there is the remote possibility that in the event of a showdown the Soviet Union might come to Egypt's assistance.
But it must be remembered that so far the Soviets have been very careful not to become directly engaged in military action. It was the Chinese Reds who came to the aid of North Korea, not the Soviet Union.
So I think we had better make up our minds that somewhere along the line we may have to be as tough as Egypt and show it in the United Nations.
I am glad Dr. Ralph Bunche is in the Middle East for the United Nations. He dealt successfully before with the armistice situation there and has perhaps the best background for bringing about certain basic agreements before anything else can go forward.
I arrived in Iowa City, Iowa, by car from Cedar Rapids and while in Iowa City I made a recording, held a press conference, posed for innumerable photographs made by a young student on assignment from the university, and attended a luncheon of the Altrusa Club, of which I am an honorary member.