JANUARY 6, 1947
WASHINGTON, Sunday—The first thing I want to do today is to express my thanks to Mr. Bernard Baruch for the work which he has done for his country. Every citizen of the United States must feel he has made a real contribution, not only to our own safety but to the safety of the peoples of the world in the future.
I hope that Russia will agree to the atomic plan as it is now proposed. I have never seen why there should be any objection to giving up the veto once a treaty was signed and agreed to. There must be embodied in that treaty the right of inspection in all parts of the world, as well as the authority which is deemed essential to the control both of materials and of the ultimate skills or mechanisms required for the military use of atomic energy. These controls must be carefully thought out and specified. Naturally, if any nation violates the provisions of the treaty there must also be penalties which the authority can apply immediately. Inspection and penalty would be invalid if any nation could use a veto.
It therefore seems to me self-evident that, having once agreed to a treaty, on this particular subject no nation can ever again use a veto. I understand the principle underlying the veto right, which is the desire for unity. I understand the feeling that only when the great nations can agree is it possible really to exercise their full strength for the benefit of all nations. But in the case of atomic control, this point does not have to be considered.
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I spent the whole day yesterday from 9:30 in the morning till after five in the afternoon with a group of people, many of whom I have known before, who were trying to set up a liberal and progressive organization. They chose as their name, "Americans United for Democratic Action." If they live up to that name, they will not only lay down certain principles, but they will find ways and means to acquaint the people of the country with their program. In addition, they will organize the action which can be taken in any community in the nation if people are in agreement on specific programs.
Yesterday I received a long screed from someone accusing me of forming a third party. I wish emphatically to deny that I am forming a third party, or in fact that I am forming anything. I am joining with other progressives, many of whom are far younger and more active than I am, and far more influential, in an attempt to carry on the spirit of progress. We do not believe that what has been done in the past is the highest attainment that can be hoped for in a democratic nation. We hope to face new situations and find new answers in line with the needs and best interests of our country and its people, never forgetting our relationship to the family of nations. I am a Democrat because that political party has stood during the last 16 years for this type of work and achievement, and I certainly hope the Democratic party will continue to do so.