JUNE 19, 1961
NEW YORK—During my travels last week from coast to coast, I spent a little over 12 hours in Los Angeles, where on Tuesday I spoke at a luncheon given by ORT at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Just before the lunch I was asked by the ladies in charge whether I could speak on a different subject from the one that had been scheduled. Fortunately I have the material of my subjects very well in hand, so that the change made very little difference.
I had the pleasure of talking during the luncheon with Norman Corwin, who introduced me, and of again meeting Joseph Schildkraut, who created the role of the father in the Diary of Anne Frank. Everyone was so kind to me that it was hard to believe I had really done some of the things they mentioned. But of course if you live to be over 76, you do a great many things over the years, many of which you forget as you go along. It is certainly pleasant, however, to find that others at some time have enjoyed something you yourself do not remember having done.
A jet plane brought me back to New York on Wednesday morning. During the day, in between visits from various people and a recording session in the afternoon, I attended to numerous chores, such as hanging pictures and moving furniture into its proper place. On Thursday I went to Washington to attend a luncheon given by Justice Douglas in honor of Walter Reuther. The UAW is celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, and some of Mr. Reuther's friends remembered that it was 25 years since he was elected to the board of UAW, thus starting his distinguished career as a labor statesman.
Mr. Reuther is one of the few labor union leaders who has been able to think and plan for the well-being of all the members of his union and, at the same time, to remember that unions also have a responsibility to understand the whole economic setup of the country and to be a part of it. Unions must understand the problems of the industries for which they work, the role played by capital and management, as well as the problems of their industry in the context of the world industrial and economic picture. This means that unions must have unusually well-trained and educated leaders, a requirement Walter Reuther has met extraordinarily well.
While in Washington I also attended a seminar arranged by the American Friends Service Committee to which foreign and American correspondents and congressmen and government officials were invited. The subject was "The Development of the U.N. in the Next Ten Years." Dr. Arthur Holcombe, head of the Committee for the Organization of Peace, an affiliate of the American Association for the U.N., and I were there to help in the discussion during the evening hours, which was presided over by Clarence Pickett, director emeritus of the American Friends Service Committee.
Premier Khrushchev's first "fireside chat," the other day, was interesting to me as an indication that TV has vastly improved from what it was a few years ago in the Soviet Union. At that time it was almost impossible to find a TV station and get a special program.
The content of Mr. K's report sounds fairly familiar and, I suppose, is what we should have expected, since it would be too much to ask that he would be more moderate at the present time. It will be interesting to see how things go. He asks for a decision on Germany by December 31. But, unless it is to be one which he alone approves of, this would seem to be difficult to achieve.