APRIL 16, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—Another day at the UN General Assembly meeting at Flushing, with the subject under discussion supposedly the changing or modifications of the veto power. But on the part of the Soviet satellite speakers, the meeting was turned into a full-dress support of Soviet delegate Andrei Gromyko's point of view primarily on the North Atlantic Pact, with very brief reference to the subject in hand.
I am beginning to feel that a device my husband used in his office in Washington would perhaps be a good device for use at these United Nations meetings.
There was a room across from his office which had no outer window, simply electric lighting. As I remember, one of the mounted fish he once caught in Florida hung on one side of the room and there were some drawings and cartoons on the walls, all of which would eventually become a little wearying if exposed to them for too long. A table and chairs stood ready for conference in the middle of the room.
Occasionally, when people found it difficult to reach "a meeting of minds," my husband would say: "Go into the conference room and come back when you all agree."
I honestly believe that if there were no publicity, no one to listen to the speeches, no one to be influenced by the oratory, just the interested parties themselves to discuss their difficulties, and no prospect for adjournment for food or drink or pleasant entertainment until some basis of understanding was reached, we might really reach a meeting of minds. The present exchange of views in which some of us say harsh things to each other for the benefit of the press and radio brings us no nearer to the desired result.
In spite of all our difficulties in the United Nations, however, there are increasing efforts being made in this country to create better understanding. And many people have grasped the fact that we must begin with our children.
I have a letter before me from The Children's Studios of Speech and Dramatic Arts, Washington, D.C. At this school students from three to twelve are going to present an international drama festival, with plays honoring various countries. The Irish, English, Dutch, Chinese and Russians are all included and the group uses folk music and folk dancing. I am sure the youngsters will have a good time and at the same time increase international goodwill and understanding.
What a strange and frightening thing the earthquake in the Northwest must have been. I always had thought that these phenomena belonged to southern California and that San Francisco was the farthest north they reached. It seems though that the whole Pacific Coast is subject to strange movements of the earth. The real damage will not be assessed for a long time, for people will be discovering flaws in their houses for many months to come.
One's thoughts, of course, are apt to fly to the people one knows living in that area and I have been worried ever since the quake occurred. These misfortunes have nothing to do with what we ourselves do. They are beyond our control. But they draw us together, and sympathy will be found in any part of the world that has gone through some similar experience.