NOVEMBER 21, 1946
NEW YORK, Wednesday—With many other New Yorkers, I grieve at the passing of former Mayor James J. Walker. He seemed a part of this great mixed city of ours, and if one met him at a meeting or at a dinner, one was always sure of a laugh. He had Irish wit and an Irish heart and, though I was only a casual acquaintance, I shall miss those occasional meetings. He had his faults as well as his virtues, but I know that there will be much deep and sincere grief at his death, and many of his friends will hope that someday they will see again the kindly smile and hear the ready word which always fitted the occasion.
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Yesterday was a long day, starting at 9 o'clock with a meeting of the U.S. delegates to the U.N. Assembly. Then out to Lake Success where, from 11 o'clock on, we in Committee 3 discussed the charter of the new International Refugee Organization. We were in the committee room where simultaneous translation is done, so the work progressed rapidly. That translating system is certainly a time-saver and, because of my deafness, it is of great value to me since it amplifies the voice of the speaker.
I marvel at the way the translators actually try to put the same feeling and expression into their voices that the speaker has in his. If the speech sounds impassioned, the translation may sound just as fervid—and you are sometimes a little surprised to find that the weather or something equally harmless is the subject of this heated oratory! The Ukrainian delegate can make an impassioned speech at the slightest provocation, and now and then our colleague from Yugoslavia can do the same.
During the meeting, I reminded myself of my school days and took to pointing out grammatical errors in the amendments!
To my surprise, when I came back from lunch in the cafeteria, my husband's cousin, Mrs. Warren Robbins, appeared from a seat in the rear of the room. Some people are a constant part of the audience and come in day after day. Others appear only occasionally, when subjects of special interest to them are being discussed.
At a little after 5:30, I went over to the General Assembly plenary session at Flushing to say a few words for our delegation on the narcotic-control convention. The resolution taking over the narcotic-control duties of the League of Nations was passed unanimously. It now remains only for the Secretary General to prepare the protocol for signatures, and then all the countries will be notified. Those delegations signing it will do so subject to the ratification of their congresses or parliaments, if that is their form of government.
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Last evening I heard the Philadelphia Orchestra play at Carnegie Hall. We were an endless time getting uptown because a huge crowd had gathered for a film premiere and blocked the traffic in every direction for several blocks. As a result, we were too late for the first number. The second number, a new Concerto for Flute and Orchestra by Louis Gesensway, had not been played in New York City before. The audience seemed to appreciate it very much. This was my first concert in a long while and I enjoyed it, even though I had started my day so early that I found it hard to keep awake.