FEBRUARY 26, 1947
NEW YORK, Tuesday—My day in Montreal yesterday was most interesting. It began with a very kindly gesture of hospitality. As my train was late and there was no diner, Mr. A. A. Gardiner, one of the vice-presidents of the Canadian National Railway, invited me to have breakfast with him and his wife in his business car. Such kindness was greatly appreciated and, in consequence, I was quite ready to start on a strenuous day.
Our consul, Mr. North Winship, with his wife and other officials, met me at the station. Snow was deep everywhere, but the streets were marvelously open to traffic and the drivers must be particularly skillful, including the police escort which went with us all day and never had a mishap.
Our first stop was for a press conference, followed by two recordings. Then I visited the Mayor in his office and signed his guest book. The entrance hall of the imposing City Hall is a very beautiful room. After a short reception, I was also shown the Council Room.
There are 99 councilmen, and they are chosen to represent the different city interests. This form of government, based on that of Manchester, England, and of Barcelona, Spain, was inaugurated in Montreal in the early '30s, when conditions financially became very critical. The present mayor has held the office off and on for a long time, so he must have found the secret of pleasing the people. We lunched with him and some other representative gentlemen.
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Then I visited the University of Montreal. This is a really wonderful modern building, bringing all of the usual university buildings into one compact whole. The Government has been most generous to the university, and help came also from the Rockefeller Foundation. Including the graduate schools, which are still in outlying buildings, there are about 13,000 students. The Monsignor was very kind in showing me through this most interesting establishment.
From there, I went to McGill University to speak before their International Relations Club. The large group of students proved to be a wonderful audience.
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By a little after 4 o'clock, I was back at the Winship home and had time to rest before going to a dinner given by the United Nations Society of Canada. This was followed by a great meeting in the skating rink, which had been converted into a fine auditorium for the occasion. Several government officials were present.
It seemed to me that interest in the United Nations was developing fast and that the United Nations Society must be growing stronger and gaining a large membership all over Canada. I think the women of the Province of Quebec, as well as the men, are recognizing their responsibility in the work which lies before all of us to aid in preventing future wars.