OCTOBER 8, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—It seems to me a very wise and sensible move to have the new trial of Alger Hiss in Vermont. Vermonters are not easily stampeded. They are hardheaded, down to earth, conservative and very realistic people. They do not like Communism, but I doubt if they are frightened by it. They are pretty sure of themselves. New York newspapers are apt to be jittery on the subject. They are apt to condemn people by association and to be unduly suspicious of actions long past. Possibly because New York, much like our other big cities, is the most likely place for Communists to thrive. One finds people more conscious of their fears here than of their confidence in themselves. That doesn't happen in Vermont and I think Alger Hiss will get no soft soap, but complete and fearless consideration of the merits of his case. That is what any American is entitled to and should have, no matter what the accusations are against him.
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Yesterday afternoon I visited the new home of the American University Women's Association. They bought an old-fashioned New York house on East 37th Street and I think the two lower floors are going to make a very delightful meeting place for the members of the Association. I was particularly interested to meet some of the women studying here on scholarships from the Association. One from Norway, had recently arrived, but spoke good English and seemed already interested in her work. Several young Dutch doctors, two of them pediatricians, are studying in different hospitals here. One Philippine lady is studying school administration and finding it very valuable. In addition there were women from Israel and from other countries, some of whom decided to stay on here after their scholarships had expired.
I also went to a tea given by the Independent Democrats for former Governor Herbert H. Lehman, Mayor William O'Dwyer and City Planning Commissioner Robert F. Wagner, Jr., at the Hotel Seymour. Besides the top candidates, I saw others running on the ticket, as well as staunch supporters of the Democrats, like Dorothy Norman, Mrs. Anna Rosenberg and many Puerto Rican friends whom I met in my son's district when he was running for Congress.
I did some Christmas shopping, too, so you see when one gets an afternoon off from the United Nations it gives one time to do many things!
I lunched yesterday after the morning session of Committee #3 with His Excellency Mr. Sophocles Venizelos, Vice Premier of Greece, and several other guests. Afterwards I went to the showing of the film on the work of the United Nations Children's Emergency Fund. The sound track for this film is in English, French and Spanish and I suppose could be in almost any other language. The pictures are very good and bring out well the fact that children all over the world are benefiting from the money contributed to the fund.
Some of the most pathetic pictures were taken in the Philippines and in China. Those were the only areas in which real famine conditions seemed to exist. I hope many people will see this film.