DECEMBER 9, 1949
NEW YORK, Thursday—We had an interesting time at the meeting yesterday morning of the United States delegation to the United Nations. Ambassador Warren Austin asked a number of the staff members to evaluate the work done by our delegation and to make any suggestions for improvement. He then asked us to state what we felt had been important accomplishments or failures in the present session and to make suggestions for improvement.
We all feel that we have learned to consult with others before making up our minds finally on various problems that come up. We are convinced that this is very helpful in our relationships with the members of the other delegations.
Mrs. Ruth Bryan Rhodee commented on the fact that she thought the team work in the delegation and between the delegation and the State Department was so excellent that she hoped there would be more frequent and comprehensive visits from the members of Congress. Such procedure, she pointed out, would help to bridge the gap that often exists between the Congress of the United States and such other persons who deal with our foreign affairs. She also felt the difficulty of getting across in the best way to the people what went on day by day in the U.N. She suggested that Congress might well be the best interpreter of both our difficulties and our achievements in the international field.
I think all of us have felt a real sense of gratitude for Ambassador Austin's leadership. He believes so strongly in the need for getting on with people that he inspires everyone to work for more understanding and warmer personal relationships. His genial personality makes us all work better together and appreciate each other's good qualities and not dwell too much on our shortcomings. He has achieved a remarkably good organization in the U.S. mission.
The members of the staff are devoted to their work and they understand the objectives for which they work. Therefore, the work is not done perfunctorily but is performed with real devotion.
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I had time at last to visit the van Gogh exhibition of paintings at the Metropolitan Museum, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I missed one or two of the canvasses that I remember from the last exhibition I saw at the Museum of Modern Art but many of the familiar ones are on view and many in addition that I had not seen before.
What hours one could spend at the Metropolitan Museum! I never go there without wondering why I go so rarely. There are untold treasures. Possibly because they are in our own city, we rarely find time to enjoy them.
In the late afternoon I went to a ceremony in the apartment of the Consul General of The Netherlands, Dr. W. Cnoop Koopmans and Mrs. Koopmans. He was conferring on Dr. Herman B. Baruch one of the highest Dutch decorations sent by the Queen of The Netherlands.
The Consul General and Mrs. Koopmans kindly invited Dr. Baruch's family and some of his friends to be present, and I was glad to be able to go. With the decoration there came a very beautiful photograph of the Queen and the Prince Consort in their coronation garments. Both looked very regal, yet had the same kind and gentle expressions that endear them to all who know them.