MARCH 25, 1948
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—These last few warm days have made spring a reality. Though patches of snow—very dirty snow—are still visible here, we are busy raking away dead leaves and, as we rake, unexpected green shoots appear, quite high above the brown earth. Our brook goes roaring over its stones, and little waterfalls appear in new places every day. The roads through the woods are small rivers.
And my two little black dogs have spring fever. You see them get a scent and run criss-cross through the woods, and then they are off. No amount of calling brings them back. An hour or so later, they come home wet and exhausted but, after a brief rest, they are begging to be out and off again.
In this quiet spot, it is hard to believe that the soft air blowing in your face, the spring rain falling or the warm sunshine breaking through the clouds are not a true sample of what spring means all over the world. You have only to pick up the papers, however, and read of bloodshed in Palestine or Trieste or China or India, to know how little quiet there is in other parts of the world.
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Trieste, that much argued-about city which Great Britain, France and the United States are now offering to return to Italy, is in the headlines of the newspapers before me. The compromise treaty which made Trieste a Free Territory under United Nations supervision has apparently not been successful, as the Security Council has found it impossible to agree on a Governor.
It was evident that Premier Stalin might suggest the return of Trieste to Italy and in that way strengthen his hope of getting a strong Communist vote in the Italian elections on April 18th. And now Marshal Tito has suggested a settlement between Yugoslavia and Italy under which Trieste would be returned to Italy while the Italian city of Gorizia would be ceded to Yugoslavia.
To the outsider it looks as though, since the United Nations has no force which it can use to enforce any of its decisions, we act independently with other nations, giving little consideration as to whether or not our actions strengthen the U.N.'s position. Some people are more interested in playing their own game for the time being than in strengthening the United Nations.
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This may be right and inevitable under the circumstances, but it leaves the average citizen with a feeling that the U.N. is gradually being made weaker and weaker—that we have decided that the old habit of creating a balance of power is the only really reliable arrangement when there is a nation like the USSR striving to expand.
Perhaps the time hasn't come when the nations of the world are capable of setting up any strong, joint machinery to keep peace. In that case, our officials are doing the only thing they possibly can. But such arrangements haven't been very satisfactory in the past.
And those of us who have doubts about their being satisfactory in the present will be saying little prayers that the peoples of the world will wake up to the fact that, when they set up machinery, they must make it work. Especially in the democracies, the people will have to speak with very clear voices to their representatives if any new efforts are to be made to draw the nations of the world together.