OCTOBER 18, 1948
PARIS, Sunday—It is amusing to me to see the USSR suggesting so blandly that we sign two conventions simultaneously—one for disarmament and one for inspection and control of atomic energy, which would of course mean that, immediately on signing, we destroyed all our bombs and our methods of production. Judging from what they say, they apparently will not accept the orderly progression by which destruction of our bombs does not come about until the moment when inspection is actually ready to be put into effect.
We have never changed our position. We are ready to fulfill our share of the bargain when steps for inspection and control have been taken and inspection is ready for operation. Then and then only can every nation be assured of safety.
When the USSR makes such naive suggestions, one wonders if they fool themselves or think they fool other people. If it is the latter, they give the rest of us very little credit for reasoning powers, and it always is unwise to underestimate the intelligence of your associates.
* * *
At the last meeting of Committee Three we sat through many of the same arguments I have heard at every international meeting of this kind that I have attended. Towards the end we got lost in a long debate as to whether we had to have before us a perfect French and a perfect English translation, since both were the working languages before we adopted the article. I fully expected that there would be a demand for perfect translations of all the official languages at the same time. But Doctor Chiang refrained from asking for a correct Chinese translation before moving forward, and I think this had a good influence on all of us.
* * *
Today, with our first real rain, the city is a rather cold and chilly spot. But the autumn months as usual have been very beautiful months in France, though the colors of the foliage are never as brilliant as at home in America. There is no explanation for this as far as I know, for the sky is just as blue and we have had days and days of sunshine.
I enjoy this country and I never cease to marvel at the beauty of Paris itself. It certainly is magnificently laid out and it is appreciated by its own people. The other night, after we had dined in a little restaurant, our chauffeur said: "Madame, it is not far to the Place de la Bastille. Would you not like to see it?" So we drove to that memorable spot and he explained to us that some of the houses still have three stories of dungeons under them, evidence of the barbarism of a former day which we have seen equalled in other ways in recent history. I often wonder how many of our New York City taxi drivers would point out to a stranger the historic spots of interest and beauty with as much care and pride as do the citizens of Paris.