JULY 11, 1960
HYDE PARK—I have received an interesting letter from a gentleman in Seattle, Wash., who argues that the United States and Russia should come to terms on the question of Germany as soon as possible. He feels that German reunification should be forgotten, but that East Germany must be recognized. In this way, he says, we would normalize relations with Russia and still keep faith with our Western allies, since West Germany would be protected from Communism.
Few people, he contends, actually want the reunification of Germany, for to many Europeans this would bring fear instead of peace—the fear that if a reunited Germany should align itself with any group against the Western allies, it would for the third time become a menace to the peace of Europe.
He also points out the danger that threatens the whole world—including Soviet Russia—in the rapidly increasing population of Communist China. Already, he says, 650 million industrious and energetic Chinese are demanding a better standard of living, though they now are barely able to live at a bare subsistence level as far as food is concerned. The fact that their present population increase is annually adding 15 million new mouths to be fed poses a new problem which all their neighbors should consider seriously.
I think this gentleman has raised some thought-provoking points of interest not only to the countries of the West, but to those of Asia as well.
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Last Friday evening I went to our summer theatre, just north of here. This playhouse was closed last summer and we are all glad to have it open again. Under the new management the plays are well-directed, and the present one, "The Golden Fleecing," has an excellent cast with Charles Pursell in the leading role. It was a delightful evening of laughter and enjoyment.
Saturday I had the pleasure of taking two groups through "The Big House," as we call it, where we used to live. The first included Mrs. Robert Aylward, the daughter of an old friend of mine, whose husband is in the State Department and has just been sent back to Hong Kong. She and her children are spending a few days here before joining him in an area with which they are very familiar, for he has served a long time in the Far East.
Later the office force of the American Association for the United Nations came up from New York to visit the house and the library and then to have a picnic with me. After going through the house and the library, we came back to my cottage and had lunch under the trees on the lawn with a delightful breeze blowing. Those who returned to New York by train had to leave shortly after three, but the others were able to stay for a swim and a little more leisurely conversation. This is an annual picnic for the office force, and I hope they all enjoy it as much as I do.
I felt most fortunate in having such a pleasantly social and relaxed weekend here before my departure late Sunday afternoon for the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles.