SEPTEMBER 16, 1947
NEW YORK, Monday—Yesterday was the beginning of United Nations Week, which I hope will bring to every individual in this country a consciousness that the General Assembly is beginning its sessions and that matters of vast importance to every one of us are happening there.
At church in Hyde Park yesterday, a prayer for the United Nations was said and a sermon was preached on conquering our prejudices. This, of course, had a very great meaning for those of us who realize how much the basis of world understanding depends on the confidence which the people of the world can inspire in each other.
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Two young delegates from the Northwest College Congress on World Affairs, whose sessions I attended last spring at Reed College in Portland, Ore., arrived here yesterday. They were accompanied by a young Pulitzer Prize reporter from Spokane, Wash. Straight from the train they motored up to Hyde Park. They had a picnic lunch, and then a swim in the afternoon before they returned to New York.
Last night they met the delegates from the Mid-Western College Congress. And, as I understand it, they will jointly meet the United States delegation to the United Nations at our quarters today, and will present us with the resolutions passed at their various meetings. They will attend some of the sessions of the General Assembly, and will report to next year's college congress on all that they see and learn on this trip. It should be a memorable trip, for they will also go to Washington.
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For the sake of all of the U.N. delegates, I am praying that soon our very warm and humid weather will come to an end. Of course, indoors we enjoy air-cooled meeting places, but the minute we step outside, we find ourselves in a very uninvigorating atmosphere.
My son took a flying trip to our house on Campobello Island, N.B., and telegraphed back that the weather there was perfect, which convinces me that Campobello, in spite of fog, has the ideal summer climate. Perhaps the U.N. delegates should have chosen some place in Canada for our permanent meeting-place, if we could have found a place which would be cool at the beginning of September and warm at the end of October and in early November!
However, it may well be that the events of this General Assembly will be of such great interest to us all that personal comfort may be forgotten.
I wish it could be clearly understood by everyone that the most important thing is to find a basis for cooperation. War may be going on sporadically in different parts of the world, but it must not engulf the whole world again. Many things that have been undertaken by the United Nations have worked out well, and each of them tends to remove some irritant that might lead to war. But we have so little time in which to change the hearts of men, and it is the individuals in governments who make the decision as to whether there shall be cooperation or disintegration in the world.