JANUARY 16, 1946
LONDON, Tuesday—There is something that gives one a great sense of security in the way in which the British Dominions freely express their points of view even when they are in opposition to the United Kingdom. They remind me of some of our own states when they disagree with some measure that the government in Washington is putting through.
An instance was the election of Australia as the sixth non-permanent member of the UNO Security Council last Saturday after Canada had withdrawn as a candidate. The United Kingdom had voted for Canada but, when New Zealand expressed the firm conviction that Australia should be substituted to gain wider geographical representation, there was no sign of perturbation on the part of the United Kingdom delegates. They evidently thought this was a question for the Dominions to settle among themselves without the slightest interference.
This is hopeful, I think, because it shows a sense of their own security on fundamentals and a willingness to let everyone express his opinions and to trust to the fairness of the whole group in the final decision. I think Canada was strengthened because of her magnanimous action.
Similarly, in the vote for the last seat on the Economic and Social Council, New Zealand and Yugoslavia were close contenders. Then, yesterday (Monday), New Zealand withdrew and, in doing so, I think she strengthened her position for future consideration for some other post.
The Security Council, now elected, will shortly proceed to meet. It is in connection with this Council that the Allied military and naval staffs will meet to discuss security problems from a purely military point of view.
On Saturday, the voting on the Security Council took such a long time that I was obliged to ask Mr. Byrnes for permission to leave early in order to attend a committee meeting of members of my own delegation. I had asked an old family friend, Lady Archer-Shee, to come in for tea and, as I could not get back, I was very glad that my aunt, Mrs. Gray, who had come over from Ireland with her husband to stay with me for a few days, was able to look after my guest. I had just a few minutes to talk with her before my meeting started. At a little before seven, when I went in to see Mrs. Byrnes, I found that her husband and Senators Connally and Vandenberg were still sitting in Westminster Hall watching the ballots cast.
On Sunday, as there were no meetings, I had arranged to lunch with my old friends Mr. and Mrs. Leonard Elmhirst and to dine with Sir Arthur and Lady Salter. I kept both these engagements but, in both cases, had to leave to drive down to the BBC studios. First I had to make a record to be transmitted to Washington for the opening of the March of Dimes in connection with the annual infantile paralysis campaign which has been conducted ever since my husband went to Washington.
Funds have been raised in these campaigns in many different ways, but the March of Dimes is one of the chief methods. Outside every motion picture theater, there is a table on which are receptacles into which people put their contributions of dimes. I have always felt that this was one of the best ways of making it possible for almost everyone to contribute in a great national effort. Even children save their pennies until they can put a dime down on the table outside a movie theater.
My little talk on Sunday was made in recollection of the many years that I have gone with one of the District of Columbia Commissioners to speak at the opening ceremonies of the March of the Dimes. I was particularly grateful that Mrs. Truman and her daughter were able to take part in these ceremonies this year.
It seems very funny, when one goes to the BBC studio, to listen to the conversations which go on between the men in the London studio and the men in a New York studio. It is so casual and intimate that the sense of distance is almost entirely obliterated. The other day, I sent a message to Edward Murrow, who had just come into the New York studio, to tell him that I had seen his 9-weeks-old son for the first time and thought him a beautifully healthy baby.
Sunday evening, I had to leave my host and hostess immediately after dinner to go back to the BBC and talk for three minutes and thirty seconds on one of the National Broadcasting Company programs in New York. I listened to the United Nations Hymn played just before I spoke, and I felt that I must be sitting in New York, not in one of London's underground studios still in use by BBC. They had to be put underground during the war and you still go down two flights of stairs to do a broadcast.