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FOREIGN RELATIONS: Getting to Know You

2 minute read


The minute Congress adjourns each summer, U.S. Senators and Representatives buzz off like bumblebees in clover. Years ago, they used to head home for personal fence-mending; in the era of mass communications, they head for Europe in the hope of headlines and, on their return, TV appearances. The biggest Congressional tourist attraction this season, by all odds, was Soviet Russia and her satellites, most of whom rolled up the Iron Curtain and rolled out the Welcome reception became. During an interview with Soviet Commissars Georgy Malenkov and Lazar Kaganovich. Malone enthusiastically toastedco-existence, and then impetuously offered the Russians a Senate report on strategic minerals in the Western hemisphere­ a report they already had. Malone’s conduct puzzled his friends at home. Wrote New York Daily News Columnist John O’Donnell: “If Molly has been softened up in Moscow, is it safe to let any of our legislators visit the Soviet Union?” “You’re Uncultured!” While Malone and Ellender hogged the limelight, other traveling Americans tried wistfully to get into the act. Justice William O. Douglas and his wife posed for pictures in front of Lenin’s tomb: AIabama’s Senator John Sparkman turned up at the ballet and a familiar figure ambled through Moscow’s subway stations, thrusting out his hand to the mystified citizens. Estes Kefaurer seemed about to enter the preferential primaries in the Moscow oblast. One Sunday. The Keef toured Moscow’s churches delivered a speech at the Evangelical Baptists’ Church. Afterwards. The Keef made one of the profound observations for which he is noted. Said he: “If the Soviets continue relaxing religious repression. I think there will be a great increase in religious observance.”

Sometimes the travelers ran into iron portieres. Representative Joe Holt (R. Calif.) got back to Washington last week announced that a Red army lieutenant in a Moscow suburb had held him up at gunpoint when he attempted to take pictures of a Moscow church “He poked a gun about a foot from my face.” Holt said “and it was cocked, and he shouted You’re uncultured, you’re uncultured.'” Holt couldn’t let a chance like that to pick up a few votes go by. “I sure am ” he said he replied.

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