Today in Cluster History

Today in Cluster history, an article entitled “United States Foreign Policy in Current Review” appeared on page two of the January 23, 1968 issue of the Cluster. The article covered the State Department Foreign Policy Conference held at Florida State University on January 18, 1968.
In attendance at the conference were Mercer delegates Tom Cauthorn, Wright Davs and Becky Sims. Each of the students represented the Cluster at the conference.
The conference was the joint effort of Department of State, the Florida State University Union Forum Committee and Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity. The conference held discussions on issues such as China, Latin America, the U.S. political developments in Vietnam, the Middle East, and trade and aide.
One of the keynote speakers featured at the conference was the current U.S. Ambassador to the Dominican Republic John Hugh Crimmins. Ambassador Crimmins’ topic of discussion was, “Latin America Today and Tomorrow.”
According to the original article, Crimmins summed up his views by saying, “been for the better part of a generation in the process of revolution, a revolution whose goal is the establishment and enthronement of the principle that every man has the right to develop his talents to the limit of his capacity and without artificial barriers.” Ambassador Crimmins had spent the 10 previous years before the conference working in Mexican, Brazilian and Cuban diplomatic affairs.
Other important speakers featured at the conference included: Stuart W. Rockwell, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State; John Holdridge, Deputy of the Office of Research Analysis for East Asia and Pacific; Frank R. Ellis, director of the AID Food for Freedom Service; and Richard I. Phillips, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State for Public Affairs
Each speaker at the conference had many years of diplomatic experience, and the seminars they gave featured their experiences.
Rockwell’s topic in the discussion was “Basic Problems in the Middle East.” Rockwell had worked with the State Department for years, and according to the original article, he had worked in countries such as Iran, Turkey and Spain.
Holdridge’s topic of discussion was “Recent Developments, Mainland China.” Holdridge worked in areas such as Bangkok, Hong Kong and Singapore and focused on cultural issues.
Ellis’s topic of discussion was “Foreign Aid in Relation to the Food and Population Problem.” Ellis worked for 24 years in the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
The final speaker mentioned in the article was Phillip C. Habib, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific. His talk focused on issues in Vietnam that were current at the time.
Richard I. Phillips, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the State for Public Affairs also attended the conference and served as moderator for the discussions held there. The article mentioned that Phillips had served the state department since 1946 and been a representative for the U.S. in several conferences.
The conference lasted an entire day, beginning with individual seminars. When seminars concluded, State Department officials held a panel discussion, and then a question and answer panel.
The total number of people reported attending the conference was about 500. The majority of the group attending was composed of educators, students and prominent figures from the southeastern United States. The original articles featuring this story and others like it are available in the Cluster’s online archives.