DECEMBER 5, 1949
NEW YORK, Sunday—Friday was my last day at a plenary session of the U.N. General Assembly in Flushing. Of the last three items before our Committee Three, we voted first on the Convention on the Traffic in Persons. The United States abstained because the federal-state clause was not included, which made it probably impossible for our Congress to ratify this convention. On the International Children's Emergency Fund the vote was practically unanimous, calling on nations to give their contributions so that the present programs could be carried to a successful conclusion. Reports are being studied on the continuing needs of children so that a permanent program may be formulated by the next General Assembly.
Our last item was a resolution on the plans to be followed within the U.N. when the International Refugee Organization finishes its work and something must be done to give protection to those refugees and stateless persons who need it, first, in the European area, and later in whatever groups the assembly may decide to cover. We did not come to a vote on this item, but I made the statement for the United States and so it was possible for me to leave at noon on Saturday to come to Groton, where I spoke in the evening.
I will still be on the United States delegation until the close of the General Assembly sessions, which means that I will attend delegation meetings and also those assembly meetings at which I am needed. I have a feeling, however, that next week will see the close of this session of the assembly. Some of the advisers have already left for Washington, and the secretaries who were sent up are gradually filing the last papers and returning to their desks in Washington. One gets to be fond of all the people who serve on the delegation and to grow accustomed to all the familiar faces. I always feel a little sad when I bid everyone good-bye, and realize that for several months I will not be as closely associated with international questions as I am while the session is on.
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I lunched on Friday with General and Mrs. Romulo, and had the pleasure of seeing Mrs. Paul McNutt again and meeting Mrs. McIntyre.
In the evening I went to see Katharine Cornell in "That Lady." It was a memorable performance, with Miss Cornell carrying whole scenes many times. I thought she was better than the play itself, though the latter does give her a wonderful part to portray. I also thought that the play, which is set in 16th century Spain, does not give a very convincing historical feeling of the great power with which Spain then ruled so much of the world. There was, incidentally, a refinement of cruelty in those days which we surely do not equal even with the threat today of atomic bombs. That, at least, is less personal than ordering a woman to be imprisoned in a house from which the light is to be barred for the rest of her existence.