Peking—In a rare interview which lasted about four hours, Mao Tse-tung conversed with me on topics ranging over what he himself called shan nan hai pei, or “from south of the mountains to north of the seas.” With China’s bountiful 200-million-ton 1964 grain harvest taxing winter storage capacities, with shops everywhere offering inexpensive foods and consumer goods necessities, and with technological and scientific advances climaxed by an atomic bang that saluted Khrushchev’s political demise. Chairman Mao might well have claimed a few creative achievements.
For nearly 20 months a subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary has been holding hearings, ostensibly on "the Communist threat to the United States through the Caribbean," presided over by James O. Eastland of Mississippi. He is assisted by Senators Dodd, Johnston of South Carolina, McClellan, Ervin, Hruska, Dirksen, Keating and Cotton. How many witnesses have been called has not been disclosed. The testimony of only a few has been released, and that has been edited before publication.
In our relations with Russia and China, he does not believe that any settlement of the fundamental issues can be expected “for some time,” although local adjustments, such as the Austrian peace treaty, are possible. We need, therefore, to maintain “a tough, but flexible defense barrier” to deter both massive nuclear attack and localized aggression. We should work steadily and constructively for a meaningful disarmament agreement.
IT MAY BE unrealistic to expect that the Communist powers could explicitly admit that their past record over observing agreements has been bad. In the present international system few governments would be willing to incur the loss of face involved in such an admission. It would, however, be possible for the Communist powers (if they are sincere in wanting negotiations to reduce world tensions) to admit implicitly that there is a lack of trust in the value of promises of future performance and to work for agreements which would go as far as possible in providing guarantees for performance.
Even months ago, the leaders-of the Grand Alliance met at Bermuda. Little was accomplished, perhaps because US spokesmen grandly assumed that "the initiative" in the Cold War had in fact been "seized" by the Alliance, or certainly by the US. Whatever the cause, Bermuda was hardly a meeting between equals, rather between the leader and his subordinates.
PARIS Seldom if ever has the National Assembly of the Fourth French Republic given to a candidate aspiring to the office of Premier the kind of enthusiastic ovation accorded to Pierre Mendes-France when he re fused what then seemed the necessary support of the French Communist Party. It was this refusal—dearly and firmly stated—that more than anything else he said won for him what practically no one (except himself) in French political life had expected him to get; and he won by the largest majority in the history of the Fourth Republic.
FOR THE THIRD time, and after two years, one was back. There seemed at first so little that had changed: in Saigon there were new traffic lights in the Rue Catina and rather more beer bottle tops trodden into the asphalt outside the Continental Hotel and the Imperial Bar.
THE HEARTBREAKING PROBLEM for the United States in this war is the fact that we are forced to fight on every front simultaneously before we are really ready to fight on any one of them. We are forced to fight on all fronts partly for military reasons and partly for political ones: without passing judgment on the desirability of defending Australia at this moment, one may say that it was politically impossible not to aid her to a substantial extent; and the same is true of some other areas.
THIS IS A TIME of storm and smoke; of darkness, as Carl Sandberg found the time of Lincoln to be. Death is in the air. So is birth. Within the body of our wartime world we can feel the life of the future stirring. Beneath the sound of the guns, we can hear its first, protesting cries. In fury, all the forces of the past are raining their blows upon it. We bear it fearfully, seeking to shield and cherish it. Yet we forget the astonishing strength of the will to live with which all forms of life come into being. We stand in shyness before the future that we carry within us.