Incidents such as the foregoing occurred again and again throughout the good-will tours of our athletes, providing for those of us interested in the success of this program abundant evidence that genuine good will was generated, that our athletes were truly welcomed and that unquestionably our country has athletes of whom our people can be justly proud.
All our athletes have gone abroad at the invitations of the countries they visited. Prime ministers, heads of governments, university students, school children, and millions of citizens of other lands have paid great tribute to our sportsmen and have expressed in glowing terms their appreciation for our athletes' visits. Of importance is the fact that the Department of State has not sent a single amateur on a trip abroad without first working in close cooperation with the AAU or other governing body in order to insure that there would be no doubt about preserving the amateur standing of the athlete and to insure that his trip was arranged in accordance with the code of international amateur athletics.
Athletes of other nations have visited our shores upon invitation of the Amateur Athletic Union, universities and sports clubs. Most of them have won respect and admiration for their countries while here.
If our athletes have won for our nation abundant good will abroad, would any American citizen want it otherwise?
We hope that in the years ahead our friends in other lands will continue to clamor for our Sammy Lees, our Harrison Dillards and our Bob Mathiases. It would be terribly ironic, however, if we had to discontinue the program because the abundant good will generated led to mistrust of our motives.
That our athletes have handled themselves commendably and have won admiration for the United States naturally pleases us, both as diplomats and as American citizens. But these sports ventures are not prompted by political motivation but rather by a sincere desire to enhance understanding in the world. Certainly on this earth today where there is so much misunderstanding and ill will among nations there is justification for a program that endeavors to help people—separated by mountains, oceans, and different cultures—to know each other better.
HAROLD E. HOWLAND
International Educational Exchange Service, Department of State