SEPTEMBER 28, 1950
NEW YORK, Wednesday—One cannot help feeling regretful that in retaking Seoul the United Nations forces practically will have to destroy the city. It seems to me almost like wanton destruction and the blame can be put squarely on the North Koreans. Much of the city may not be restored for when plans are made for relief and rehabilitation the most immediate aids will be directed toward helping the Koreans earn their living and to become independent.
Alas, it seemed particularly sad the other day when we learned the British, who had advanced farther than they had been expected, should have been a mistaken target for our bombers. I can imagine how our men feel and what it must have done to British morale in the sector to find themselves attacked by their own friends just as they had achieved unusual success on the ground.
These are the horrible things that happen in war and make you wish that the day will soon arrive when men can be decent enough to settle their difficulties around a table.
I have any number of people writing to me now suggesting simple ways of righting the world. However, there is always a catch in their plans somewhere, which even I can detect. It is no simple thing to find the answers to the many little questions that make up a world at peace.
One of the most gratifying things that has happened in the last few days is the choice of Dr. Ralph Bunche as the winner of the Nobel Peace Prize. No one deserves this recognition more. His patience and fairness, his refusal to be drawn either to one side or the other are what laid the foundation for peace in the Near East and made possible the negotiations that are still going on.
Dr. Bunche accepted the award with modesty saying that he was a servant and a representative of the United Nations and had acted under their orders. But, of course, the success of any policy is due largely to the man who carries it out.
This action of the Norwegian Nobel Prize Committee is very significant because it brings before the world the fact that the color of your skin has nothing to do with your ability to accomplish results in your chosen field of endeavor. That is something we need to take to heart in our country and remember when the next Congress faces the President's program on civil rights. Our Congress has taken the responsibility of turning this program down and yet the passage of civil rights measures in this country would be one of the greatest victories for democracy as against communism that we could achieve.
I spent yesterday morning in the General Assembly listening to a discussion on the report of the general committee. This dealt chiefly with the subjects that have been recommended for the agenda. We sat through speeches which I am sure the general committee had heard before and probably will hear again when these items are actually discussed in the committees to which they are assigned. It seems impossible to impress upon delegates in the opposition that they are not now discussing any particular item but only whether that item should go on the agenda. As a result, one hears the same speeches a good many times, and they make less and less impression.