APRIL 20, 1950
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It seemed a long day at our United Nations session on Tuesday but two articles of the Covenant for the Declaration of Human Rights were actually voted, and one other one was agreed upon except for one point. It will come up for vote on Friday morning. Today the article on Freedom of Conscience and Religion will be the first on our agenda. I think it should not cause too much discussion, since we have been through the arguments so carefully before and I hope that the necessary changes have been made.
I sometimes wonder how the spectators have the patience to listen to the long arguments on words and phrases, which are necessary for the drafting of a legal document. To a stranger it must look like "painting the lily" in some cases. However, a friend of mine attended the morning session yesterday with a friend from the Middle West and both came up to me at the end of the morning to say how thrilling it had been. There must be something in the earnestness of the delegates sitting around the table and the seriousness with which they go into their work that does appeal to all of the listeners around the room.
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Yesterday was the first day one had the feel of real spring in the air. I don't know what could be more appropriate than to have this weather come on the opening day of the baseball season. It must have delighted all of the fans. To us in this country, baseball is a very important game, and I am sure that more people have given thought to this game than to our note to Russia on the shooting down of our unarmed plane!
The Navy plane incident, however, may be of very serious import. It arises, of course, out of the general suspicion that exists. Unless there can be a final acceptance on the part of the Soviet Union that the United States is not trying to control the rest of the world and is not trying to interfere with Russia if she stays within her own boundaries, I am afraid we are going to move into constantly more dangerous situations for the peace of the world.
This is a fundamental understanding that must be brought about—an acceptance of the fact that the United States has no more interest today than it had 10 years ago in controlling the other nations of the world or their politics.
The United States has shown through the Marshall Plan, through its cooperation in the United Nations and in the specialized agencies that it was ready to cooperate with the rest of the world. Because it has been fortunate, it was able to offer more material assistance than many of the other nations of the world.
I surmise that among some of the other nations there may be a certain resentment because of our greater abundance where this world's goods are concerned. That is natural, I think, and may be overcome only by our own willingness to accept from other nations the contributions they have to offer in many fields which may not be material but which nevertheless are highly important as contributions to the good of the world.
Only time will prove whether we can live up to the high standards we have set for ourselves in the way of helping people to better their own situations but still not trying to control them. If we succeed it may be that even Russia will come to have greater confidence in us than seems possible at the present time.