NOVEMBER 11, 1948
PARIS, Wednesday—The elections here Sunday cost the Communists a considerable number of seats in the French Government. But from what I understand, this does not necessarily mean anything, for there are various combinations among the different parties which can give the minorities greater importance than one suspects.
It is difficult for the stranger to understand this, but before I leave Paris I hope to find out a little more about how these situations affect legislative bodies.
The French constantly talk to me about complications in American politics, but I feel certain that we have nothing which requires as much manipulation of the different parties as exists in the two French Houses of Parliament.
* * *
I suppose the papers at home have been reporting the general reaction of the Soviets to our Presidential election.
I am intrigued by an editorial which appeared in one of the French papers here. It stressed that up until election day, the USSR papers called both the Democrats and the Republicans reactionaries and stated that only Henry Wallace would be the recipient of the "working" class vote. It also points up how Mr. Molotov later congratulated himself on the defeat of Governor Dewey—whose politics he considered would have been "ultra-reactionary and aggressive."
The editorial said that Mr. Molotov's speech was an effort to get President Truman to make some kind of a personal advance—such as sending a special envoy to Moscow.
My comment on that one is that such action would necessitate an invitation directly from Marshal Stalin.
* * *
Earlier this week I made two radio broadcasts, answering questions of young people on the possible effects the Bill of Human Rights would have on them.
Their questions, in letter-form, were prompted by a previous broadcast during which I discussed the Human Rights Commission and its aim.
These young people demanded that the United Nations give them real peace and the chance to feel that they could build quiet home lives without the fear of marching armies.
My first broadcast was over the Swiss radio with questions in French, with the second only a few minutes later over the Luxembourg network.
Reaching those subterranean radio stations was a real adventure.
* * *
We actually got a vote yesterday on Article 14 of the Declaration of Human Rights—which stresses equality of men and women in marriage without limitation due to nationality and religion.
After arguing two and a half hours, the article was passed without major change, though differences on the procedural questions seemed endless.
I hope when I go home, I can devote myself to action rather than conversation.