Poage recalled visiting Tokyo, Japan, when the city was still in ruins. In his words, two of the great errors Americans made regarding Japan after World War II were only apparent in hindsight. The first of these was disallowing the Japanese from re-arming. While Poage agreed with the decision at the time, in later years he lamented the undue strain this placed on American forces stationed in Asia. The second, more tongue-in-cheek criticism was the military’s failure to institute the American custom of driving on the right side of the road.
Congressman Poage also noted a difference in the Chinese and American approaches to agriculture; while American farmers measured efficiency in terms of yield per man-hour, their Chinese counterparts measured it in yield per acre regardless of the human labor cost.
Poage visited Tashkent, Uzbekistan (U.S.S.R. until 1991) in 1959, which he spoke of as the center of Russian cotton-growing country. He recalled the Russians picking their cotton by hand and taking great pains to keep their product dry for future storage. At the time, the United States was using strippers and picker machines. The Russians placed their picked cotton along the roadside for up to two weeks, sometimes completely closing the road, to dry in the sun.
In India, Congressman Poage noted that the Indians were eager to work but had few resources. The smaller villages worked water buffaloes in place of mules and the people considered cattle sacred. This practice, he believed, hindered the Indians’ agricultural growth. He noted that the majority of their infrastructure at the time had been built by the British, including roads and railways.
(Click on the images below to view detailed records for each item in the Baylor University Libraries Digital Collections.)
Congressman Poage visits a Korean warehouse. [Undated]
Congressman Poage visits the Taoyuan Primary school in Taipei. [undated]
In this letter, Congressman Poage responds to a request from the Foreign Publications Service for an article on the Interparliamentary Union Conference in Tokyo. September 7, 1960.