OCTOBER 30, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Three very meek delegates, fully aware of their shortcomings, sat before a large group of the editors of high school papers in a conference room at the United Nations building, yesterday afternoon. They tried to give in a few words some impression of the work they had been doing in the past months, since the United Nations came into being. Then each answered questions touching their own individual subjects.
Mr. Chan of China had the hardest time because many of the boys were ex-GIs and they were interested in why the United Nations allowed war to continue anywhere in the world, and "wasn't the war in China a menace to world peace?" Several questions they asked would have required a review of history to answer and much more time than ever is available in this kind of interview. This always happens with high school youngsters. Whether they are returned GIs or not, the pattern still seems to hold good!
What amused me most was to see the regular reporters listening to the questions asked, and then writing reams as the questions were answered.
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As one goes about the building, one is constantly meeting many people, some of whom are previous acquaintances and some of whom are completely new. A gentleman from Denmark, Mr. Aage Heinberg, caught me long enough to give me a book on the two Roosevelts—President Theodore Roosevelt and President Franklin D. Roosevelt—which I was most grateful to receive. A gentleman from Canada gave me something to read as I was going out and said we would talk it over later. I only hope I have time to read it!
I stayed much later than I had expected to stay at the afternoon session, because I hoped to hear both the delegate from Poland and the delegate from France speak. Unfortunately the morning session was a little delayed, so they did not get in the full number of speeches and I had to leave right after the translations of the speech made by the delegate from Byelo Russia. His was a very interesting address, showing clearly how different the same circumstances can seem to different individuals. This is one of the valuable lessons we all learn in the United Nations. Given the same facts, two persons with different backgrounds and different training may reach entirely different conclusions.
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It was first thought there might not be many speeches this week at the plenary sessions, so the work at Flushing Meadows might be over by Tuesday. It seems now, however, that the committees' work will not begin until Thursday.
I went to the 60th anniversary dinner of the University Settlement last night and was presented the Settlement award, which was a great honor for me, I think, because I am probably one of the earliest of the volunteers who work in this particular settlement!
When I was asked to speak, at the Greenwich Presbyterian church, last week, on choosing a career someone suggested to me that I had had a career in social work. I had to tell them very quickly that I could not claim any such title to fame, for the small amount of work I had ever done was done as a volunteer and an amateur and while I felt that it had given me a great deal of valuable education, it had certainly not made me a trained social worker!