FEBRUARY 13, 1951
HYDE PARK, Monday—The National Education Association is establishing a United Nations Education Service. This seems to me to be a real advance in interest in the work that every delegate to the U.N. carries on. We should try to get organizations and even the governments of member nations to carry on this education as far as is possible. To have such an important organization as the NEA, whose leadership in the educational field is well recognized, take up this work will insure a wide dissemination of information.
As I understand it, there will now be a full-time representative at the U.N. sessions representing the United Nations Education Service. This representative will work closely with the United States mission to the U.N., thus assuring opportunities for educators to visit the mission and to confer with members of our delegation. There is a proposal before the group suggesting teaching materials and the development of a curriculum to bring to our schools a better understanding of international relations and the role played in this effort by the U.N.
Many of us in this country had not wanted to undertake the role of world leadership which circumstances have forced upon us. Many of us, including myself, have not felt that our knowledge and experience have matured us sufficiently for this leadership. But it has been thrust upon us and we must as quickly and as thoroughly as possible equip ourselves to understand in all its various phases the work of the U.N. and the role of the United States in its rather complicated program of international affairs.
Nothing seems to be more promising than the establishment of the United Nations Education Service and I hope it will grow strong and spread knowledge throughout the country.
In an article I read by Professor Henry Steele Commager the other day I was struck by this sentence:
"The United States is committed neither to a policy of appeasement nor of non-appeasement. It is committed to two great policies which are, in fact, two sides of the same shield: collective security and triumph of the principles of freedom over the principles of tyranny."
In this article Professor Commager brings together some of the apparent contradictions in our policies and shows that as long as they serve these two principles, they are achieving our main purposes. In other words, there are many compromises, and if you negotiate you compromise. But if you never lose sight of your objectives you will try to make each action serve these ultimate objectives.
You may have to retreat a little here, and you accept what seems to be the inevitable there, but all the time you move forward on your broad general front. That has been our history in the past and I hope it will continue to be the history of what the policies of the United States in the realm of foreign affairs actually accomplish as we look back over any given period of years.