NOVEMBER 16, 1950
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I have been getting a number of letters all saying approximately the same thing, so they impress me as being inspired by some group. Most of them come from one area of the country also, which makes it seem more probable that some outside prodding has been affecting certain groups of women in those communities.
They ask me to exert my influence to have the atom bomb dropped on the Communist Chinese massing on the border of Manchuria, and also to urge the use of the atom bomb immediately against the Russians. All I can say to these ladies is that I understand their concern for their boys fighting in Korea, but decisions taken there are United Nations decisions. As far as I am able I will do what I can to aid the U.N. in trying to bring the war in Korea to a successful close and at the same time, to avoid an all-out war in the world. The use of the atom bomb does not seem to me to be the solution in preventing all-out war.
Today the pattern of the letters varied a little. I got one making a rather novel suggestion, namely, that we evacuate all living things along the northern border of Korea, and then set off the atom bomb in that deserted territory. This would be a demonstration of what it can do in the way of destruction, and, as a complete deterrent against invasion, the area would be distinctly unhealthy for a long time. This may sound practical, but I fear it will not help us much because both Korea and Manchuria depend on the hydroelectric works along Korea's northern border and the effect of such a demonstration might be extremely harmful.
We found ourselves in an amusing situation in Committee #3 of the General Assembly yesterday afternoon. We had voted to ask the Commission on Human Rights in its next session, to include economic, social and cultural rights in its first covenant.
But since no mention was made of certain other rights that are just as essential, such as the right to vote, I tried to have a paragraph added on to what had been accepted so that these rights would would still be a continuing concern of the commission.
This was looked upon by the delegate from the Soviet Union as pure obstructionism. He complained bitterly that ever since I had made an improper procedural proposal, some members of the committee, including myself, were just trying to obstruct the work of the committee.
I was much amused, for I have seen the Russian delegate use parliamentary procedures very ably to accomplish, or at least try to accomplish, some of his own ends. To find him suddenly objecting to someone else using the same methods merely pointed out that some of the old proverbs are correct—for instance the pot will always call the kettle black. When I have a chance I shall undoubtedly take him to task the first time he does the same thing!
Toward the end of the week we shall have some plenary sessions I hope, however that this week will see the final passage of the resolution giving the views of the General Assembly on human rights to the Economic and Social Council for transmission to the next session of the Commission on Human Rights.