You are here:Home/Resources/ Bliss-Tyler Correspondence/ Search the Letters/ Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, June 27, 1951
Royall Tyler to Robert Woods Bliss, June 27, 1951

55 Avenue Foch

Paris XVIo. Passy 65-04

Paris, June 27th, 1951.

Dear Robert,

As you will have learned from a cable I sent you yesterday,See telegram of June 26, 1951. I have got to make a trip to New York, and am due to land from the ‘De Grasse’SS De Grasse, a passenger ocean liner built in 1920–1924 for the Compagnie Générale Trasatlantique, and launched in February 1924. on August 1st. If you could get me a room at the Knickerbocker Club,The Knickerbocker Club, a gentlemen’s club in New York that was founded in 1871 and has been located at 2 East 62nd Street since 1913. it would be extremely kind of you. I do not expect to be over there more than about 10 days: in fact I have reserved a passage on the ‘Ile de France’SS Ile de France, an ocean liner built in 1926 for the Compagnie Générale Transatlantique and launched in May 1927. due to sail from New York on August 11th. I will do my best to get down to Washington, if only for a day, provided you are going to be there at the time.

The reason for all this rush is that it seems necessary that I should be present at some NCFE conferences to be held at New York during the first 10 days of August. As you know, our work is growing rapidly. There are a number of rather difficult questions which it is urgent to decide.

The reason why I have got to hurry back to Europe is that I have been asked to be the President of the “Association,”With the establishment of the Free Europe College (Collège de l’Europe libre) in Strasbourg, Royall Tyler became president of the college and its French legal entity, the Association de Collège de l’Europe libre, which was set up to manage funds between the U.S. and France, in order to operate and maintain the college. We are indebted to Veronika Durin-Hornyik for providing this information. See Veronika Durin-Hornyik, “The Free University in Exile Inc. and the Collège de l’Europe libre (1951–1958),” in The Inauguration of Organized Political Warfare: Cold War Organizations Sponsored by the National Committee for a Free Europe/Free Europe Committee, ed. Katalin Kádár Lynn (Saint Helena, CA: Helena History Press, 2013): 439–514. to be set up here under French law and which is to run the Free Europe College at Strasbourg: an educational venture which we have undertaken to set up and have working in time for the beginning of the French academical year 1951–1952, i.e. by the first week of November.

I am greatly distressed, indeed bitterly disappointed that this affair should have materialized just at the time when, if the plans you recently wrote to me about mature, I might have looked forward to going with you and Mildred on the cruise in the Greek islands, but I fear there can be no question of my getting away from this part of the world during the late summer and autumn of this year. As you may imagine, there is a great deal of work involved in this educational venture. This trip to New York, which is not at all of my choosing, is going to put me back seriously. The only approach to leave I hope for this year is the time I shall spend at sea, coming and going.

Bill, Betsy and the childrenRoyall Tyler (b. 1936) and Matilda Eve Tyler (b. 1939), the children of Bettine Tyler and William Royall Tyler. left yesterday on the ‘Liberté’SS Liberté, built in 1929 as the SS Europa for the German Norddeutsche Lloyd line. After the Second World War, the French Compagnie Générale Transatlantique took ownership of the vessel as a replacement for the SS Normandie. The refurbished Liberté made her maiden voyage to New York on August 2, 1950. for New York. Bill is taking with him the wrist watch Mildred entrusted to Evangeline BruceEvangeline Bell Bruce (1914–1995), wife of the American diplomat and politician David Kirkpatrick Este Bruce (1898–1977). Evangeline Bruce was a renowned hostess in Washington, D.C. to have repaired. I found a man at Geneva who has the reputation of being the best specialist in that particular branch of the trade, and he guarantees that the watch is now in perfect shape. You will doubtless observe that the leather case is discoloured, and it may still emit an odour of eau-de-vie. The explanation, I will not attempt to conceal from you, is that a bottle broke in my suit case in proximity to the watch. . . . Many apologies to Mildred. By the way, I hope she has received a copy of my old book on Spain, which I sent to her registered on June 9th.

Since dictating the above, I have had a call from Jack Thacher, who tells me you have received an Hon. Degree from Harvard.Robert Woods Bliss received an honorary doctor of arts degree from Harvard University on June 21, 1951. I’m delighted at the news, and send you my warmest congratulations.

Love to you both


R. T.

The Honorable

Robert Woods Bliss

2750 Que Street N.W.The Blisses acquired a house at 2750 Q Street, NW, in Georgetown, in November 1942.

Washington 7, D.C.

Associated People: John Seymour Thacher