DECEMBER 20, 1947
EN ROUTE TO NEW YORK, Friday—At the close of the session of the Human Rights Commission in Geneva, a number of the delegates prepared statements for the press on what they considered to have been the most important accomplishments in this conference. Many of them spoke of the atmosphere of the place in which we worked, and said they felt it had created greater harmony among the members of the group than they had ever experienced before.
This was indeed one of the most interesting developments. Everyone took part in the work at this session. The fact that, in great part, the Soviet group abstained from voting doesn't seem to me so very significant, since their evident interest was for the first time strongly emphasized.
As one of the delegates said, it seems perhaps too little to boast about when the Big Four haven't been able to come to any agreement and when the peace of the world is still unsettled. Nevertheless, each small achievement is something to be heralded with favorable comment, and I am grateful for the step forward in international relations which I feel was made at this meeting of the commission.
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On the last day of the session, we finally found time to go through the League of Nations Palace. In the library reading room, I was interested to see a portrait of Woodrow Wilson and photographs of many other people who believed in and worked for the League.
We also saw a number of the rooms which had been furnished by the different members of the League. The Chinese Room is beautiful. The French Room can only be described by the French word "elegante." There is always a certain formality about the French. Their reception room has deep, comfortable chairs and modern-looking tables—in fact, the furniture looks more modern than any which I had supposed existed in the days when the League Palace was being furnished.
The beautiful bronze doors and paintings in the large Assembly Hall and the very wonderful Spanish paintings in the smaller Council Chamber made you realize how much imagination, love and hope had gone into this building. I only hope that the United Nations buildings in New York can approximate it in beauty and atmosphere.