SEPTEMBER 24, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—I have just discovered that we have been celebrating National Dog Week ever since last Monday. This is really dreadful of me because I am so devoted to my own two little dogs.
I feel so strongly that all dogs who are treated well are "friends to man," so it would be a shame not to mention that this is a week in which we remind ourselves that we have a responsibility toward our dogs. We must bring them up well and treat them kindly if we expect them to be well behaved and have good dispositions. They are valuable companions for children, and the training of a dog, like the training of a horse or any animal, helps the child to build patience and a sense of fairness in his own character.
* * *
The opening of the fourth General Assembly of the United Nations certainly brought together a notable gathering of statesmen from all over the world. Wherever you looked you saw a well-known figure. I was proud of our own leaders, Secretary of State Dean Acheson and Ambassador Warren Austin. As you know, Mr. Austin is our permanent member on the Security Council and leader of our delegation when our Secretary of State is away.
The first day was given over almost entirely to the election of officers and naming chairmen of committees. I felt it a particularly happy circumstance that the delegate from the Philippines, General Carlos P. Romulo, was elected president of this session. He had the full and enthusiastic backing of the United States. It seemed symbolic justice that a citizen of a country that had been conquered and occupied and was struggling back from the ruins of liberation as well as of conquest, should be chosen to preside over this great assembly.
The General Assembly is the place where the small countries meet on an equality with the big countries. I think it is important for that reason, because their moral power can count as much as that of any nation without regard to size or wealth. In addition to the value of having a Filipino occupy the presidential chair, there is real satisfaction in seeing General Romulo receive this honor. The large vote that put him into the chair testifies to his popularity, and I think he has a right to feel that it is a tribute not only to his country but to himself. He always has been willing to work hard and to do it in a spirit of cooperation and goodwill. I know that his victory, for those of us who have known him for a long time in the General Assembly, was a tremendous satisfaction.
Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon was lunching with me the other day and I invited one of the new members of our delegation, Senator John S. Cooper of Kentucky, to meet him. The Senator asked him how many faces were familiar in the crowded room and Dr. Malik in looking around said: "Oh, I suppose I know about seventy percent of the people here. There is always a turnover of about thirty percent in each General Assembly, but Mrs. Roosevelt and I have been here since the beginning."
As a matter of fact, Dr. Malik was in San Francisco when the charter was drawn up and I was not there, so he has an even longer time of service behind him. A chance to talk with him is always valuable, for his personality cannot fail but leave an impression of a broadly cultured and deeply spiritual individual.