JANUARY 10, 1949
NEW YORK, Sunday—Of great interest to me last week was my visit to the Choate School, where I spoke in the chapel to the boys on the Declaration of Human Rights. I then spent an hour after lunch answering questions for them, and another hour again answering questions for a high school group from the town of Wallingford. My friends, Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Atmore, drove me into New Haven afterward, where I had dinner in one of the Yale colleges with a group of members of the Yale Political Union.
I had been invited to speak before their final debate, which was to be on the question of whether the United States should accept a covenant as part of the Bill of Human Rights. Four students took part in the debate, each of them representing a different political party. The conservative, liberal and labor parties all agreed, for different reasons, that this nation should ratify a Covenant on Human Rights. The representative of the Bull Moose party was against it, feeling, I gathered, that it would be a useless gesture and would do more harm than good to human rights. The vote of the members of the Political Union was overwhelmingly in favor of adoption by the United States.
I enjoyed my contacts with both the younger boys and the older men, some of whom had been in the war and were finishing their studies at Yale. There was a shadow over the campus caused by the airplane tragedy in Seattle, in which so many returning Yale students were killed. The president of the Political Union announced that he had written to the families of the members of the union who had been in that ill-fated plane. Many of these boys had seen death in different parts of the world, but this must have seemed a useless tragedy. From President and Mrs. Seymour down, I am sure there was no member of the faculty or of the student body who was not deeply affected by the accident.
After the meeting, some 20 or 30 boys and one or two wives of GI students came back to the Seymour home and sat discussing with me various questions before us today. It was a pleasant and interesting time, and I agree with President Seymour that the youth of today is more serious than some of those in recent generations have been.
I was grateful for the kind hospitality offered me, but a little ashamed when I found that Mrs. Seymour was up to see me off at 7:45 in the morning! This seemed to me a gesture of old-fashioned courtesy which I deeply appreciated. I had arranged to meet my friend, Miss Esther Lape, whom I had not seen since my return from Europe, on the eight o'clock train, and so I accepted all this kindness and consideration from my hosts with a grateful heart and went on my way to a very pleasant reunion.