JULY 1, 1947
NEW YORK, Monday—Congress has now approved our participation in the International Refugee Organization. People have been asking me if under this organization displaced persons can come to the United States, so I think it well to explain that no one can enter any country without the acquiescence of that country.
The IRO is designed to take the place of UNRRA. A preparatory commission has been meeting, and a temporary organization will now take over. Primarily it will look after the 750,000 to 800,000 refugees left in camps in Europe. Those who wish to go home will be helped to return to their countries of origin. And when other countries are willing to accept some of these people, the IRO will help to make the arrangements for their travel and resettlement. Under the IRO charter, no one will enter the United States except with our consent.
It would be a cruel thing to leave these people in camps in Europe. Naturally, the armies of occupation would have to take over, and the result, in all probability, would be that the great majority of people, whether or not they wished to return to their original countries, would be forced to do so. Quite obviously, armies of occupation are too busy to deal in any other way with hundreds of thousands of people who happen to be in camps in their zones.
* * *
Last Friday, in Hyde Park, I felt as though I had suddenly gained a day. I thought I was going to catch a very early train to New York in order to keep an appointment with Warren R. Austin at the U. S. delegation office of the United Nations, but at 11 o'clock the night before I received word that he would be unable to see me because of the Security Council meeting. I got up early just the same and saw that two young men, who were going into New York for the day, got their breakfast at 6:30. Then I had that wonderful feeling of having so many free hours that were entirely unexpected.
I rearranged my flowers and picked fresh ones. I went out to the vegetable garden and found that the rain had brought us far more weeds than should be in any garden; and that we needed some sun very badly to bring up the peas and other vegetables which the constant wet has forced us to replant several times. Then I unpacked two trunks which had been intriguing me for nearly two years with "contents unknown" marked on them.
In short, I was the busy housewife until lunch time, when all the family came to eat with me. Afterwards, I read to the youngest members of the family Mrs. Ann Weils's "Franklin D. Roosevelt, Boy of the Four Freedoms." This book is really well written and holds the interest of any child from 6 to 8 years old.
I had my first swim in the afternoon in company with a baby and five "wild Indians" prancing about, plus a little dog yapping and falling into the pool at frequent intervals. Meanwhile Fala, who knows better than to be concerned about any of us when we swim, disdainfully looked on from a distance, then wandered off to the brook to hunt moles when Frannie's antics seemed to him too childish.