195. Editorial Note

On November 19, President Eisenhower sent a personal message to C. D. Jackson of Time, Incorporated, in which he wrote:

“I know that your whole being cries out for ‘action’ on the Hungarian problem. I assure you that the measures taken there by the Soviets are just as distressing to me as they are to you. But to annihilate Hungary, should it become the scene of a bitter conflict, is in no way to help her. At the same time, if the United Nations is to work, Mr. Hammarskjold must act as he, and the United Nations, see fit.

“One of my friends sent me a particularly moving document on the case of decency versus extinction. I quote from it two or three sentences:

“‘Partisanship has no place when such a vital question (as atomic self-destruction) confronts us. Mothers in Israel and Egypt, sons in England and France, fathers and husbands in the United States and in Russia are all potential victims and sufferers. After the event, all of them, regardless of nationality, will be disinterested in the petty arguments as to who was responsible—or even the niceties of procedure . . . That War (would be) so terrible that the human mind cannot comprehend it.’

“I realize that this letter in no sense answers your urgent suggestions. Someday perhaps you will be down here and we can talk matters over.” (Eisenhower Library, Whitman File, Eisenhower Diaries; the ellipsis is in the source text.)