SEPTEMBER 27, 1948
PARIS, Sunday—I dined with our Special Ambassador and Mrs. Averell Harriman the other night and was much interested in talking with Mr. Bruce, one of Mr. Harriman's associates, about the Economic Recovery Program. He said that at first he was completely convinced that the whole idea of this program must fail. But having come over and gone to work on it, he now is one of its most enthusiastic supporters. He feels confident success may be achieved and is full of ideas for future development.
Everyone seems agreed that Belgium has returned to a normal standard of living more quickly than any other European country. This is partly because the theory under which they worked was to try to get their people back to where they had food, household articles, clothing and the necessities needed to turn everyday living into normal channels again. They did not start on their major rehabilitation work, such as bridges or railroads, until the first phase had been accomplished. This, of course, was made possible for them by the fact that Belgium had a smaller area devastated by the war and also had some funds which accumulated from their colonial possessions.
This coincides with my observations on my visit last spring. But I was glad to hear, upon inquiring about other countries, that in all of Europe there was a hopefulness denoting increased production and a rise in the vitality of the population, which could of course in time lead to better economic conditions.
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I spent very little time at the Assembly on Friday, though I heard the Chinese delegate's speech in full and part of the speech made by the delegate from Burma. The rest of the time I was busy meeting with people interested in items which will come up on the agenda of Committee Three and talking over both points of difference and points on which we felt there might be a measure of common interest and agreement.
We had dinner Thursday night in a delightful little restaurant, near the George Cinq hotel, called Joseph's. I shall always be grateful to Jim Carey of the CIO and his wife for taking us there, because we not only had the best possible food, but also met a unique character. In World War I, Joseph was a Canadian soldier. Apparently he fell in love with Paris and settled down here. His restaurant is small and the intimate kind of place where, if you must be away from home and dine out every night, you can have some sense of privacy and quiet. Joseph came over to talk to us and told me he had been a follower of President "Teddy" Roosevelt, although he had not gone to Africa with him. Then he gave me as a souvenir a photograph of himself on the steps of his house with a number of war orphans he had taken in. When I left I promised I would come again, but I shall have to save it for one of our few leisurely evenings, since one can really talk in peace and quiet there and enjoy a meal in true French fashion.
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On Thursday evening a very charming reception was held by the Groupes Parlementaires France-Etats Unis D'Amerique. I drove down to the Luxembourg, but arrived 15 minutes early and was taken up into the president's office, which looks out over the lovely gardens and trees. I had never before been in this beautiful building, which goes back to the days of Henry the Fourth. I had no opportunity to look into the Parliament rooms, but after the rest of our delegation, headed by Secretary Marshall, arrived we were escorted down the great hall, well over 100 feet long and glitteringly beautiful, to the Salle de Brosse, where the reception was being held. This room was once a chapel and has an intimate feeling, with religious and historical paintings along the walls.
A toast was drunk to our delegation and charming speeches were made in our honor. Secretary Marshall replied and then, being the only woman delegate, I was asked to say a few words. The atmosphere was one of warm hospitality, and though we spent only a short time with them it was a great pleasure to meet so many members representing different political parties but all equally gracious in welcoming us, the U.S. delegation to the United Nations.