DECEMBER 4, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Yesterday, as you met people on the street looking cold and blown about by the wind, it was funny how many of them would say the same thing: "Well, such cold weather won't make them want to bring the U.N. here permanently." And sure enough, it looks as though San Francisco and Philadelphia are now the favorites. Of course, we may suddenly wake up and find that the headquarters committee has decided on a place of which nobody ever heard!
No matter what place is chosen for a permanent home, it will be some time before the U.N. moves. In the meantime, it seems to me that some thinking might be done on ways and means of making easier and more efficient the work of the General Assembly sessions and of the other meetings which come at more frequent intervals and cause a strain not only on the personnel but on the space at Lake Success.
I think that, during the period when the General Assembly is in session, there should be sufficient office space assigned to each delegation wherever meetings are taking place. Then a delegation's daily schedule might run approximately as follows: 8:30 to 10:30, office work, reading of papers, mail, etc; 10:30 to 1:00, morning sessions; 1:00 to 2:30, lunch hour, during which lunch could be served in the office while a delegation discussion meeting was held; 3:00 to 6:00 or 7:00, afternoon sessions. If evening sessions are to be held, it would seem wise to close the afternoon meetings at 6 o'clock, then reconvene from 7:00 to 9:30.
I think it would make a great difference to many delegates if a more or less tentative schedule could be made out, and the approximate time for evening meetings known beforehand. One group could meet Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays; and another, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. The uncertainty as to the schedule makes it difficult for anyone to plan on any free time, and this is a bad arrangement for everyone. All the delegates have some calls upon their attention which are not connected with their U.N. work.
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I see by the papers that Pastor Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran churchman who was jailed by the Nazis, has arrived in this country and is scheduled to make a lecture tour. I understand that Dr. Niemoeller has stated in the past that he was against the Nazis because of what they did to the church, but that he had no quarrel with them politically. And I think I remember reading a report that, when his country went to war, he offered his services for submarine work in the Navy.
One may applaud his bravery and his devotion to his church, but one can hardly applaud his attitude on the Nazi politics, and I cannot quite see why we should be asked to listen to his lectures. I am sure he is a good man according to his lights, but his lights are not those of the people of the United States who did not like the Hitler political doctrines.