NOVEMBER 3, 1951
PARIS, Friday—Here we are in Paris. We landed Thursday morning about 9 o'clock after one of the smoothest and pleasantest voyages I have ever had. It was smooth enough for those who wanted to dance, to dance every night, and all the deck sports were played every minute of the daylight hours.
We had on board a number of Army wives going to join their husbands in Germany. This is the first trip that the "America" has made since the war to Bremerhaven, and we heard the Germans were planning a real celebration there. We also had a number of United States Lines personnel on board who were going over for this particular event.
Our delightful table companions, Congressman and Mrs. Albert Thomas of Texas were going on to Germany to look things over but hoped to return to Paris to get a glimpse of the General Assembly and then to visit Spain before returning home later this month.
We had a number of meetings on board preparing the new members of the United Nations Delegation as well as we could on the background of different phases of our work. Our first full delegation meeting will be here in the old Astoria Hotel today.
It was pleasant to be greeted by some of the same officials at Le Havre who greeted us in 1948, and there was the usual French bustle as the porters carried the baggage off.
Once the train started I looked out of the window with interest and soon discovered that autumn had really begun here—but the colors are soft and sad, not gay and flaunting as they are at home. There is much brown in the landscape and yellow, not as brilliant as an autumn landscape in New York State or anywhere in New England.
They tell me they have had a great deal of bad weather here, which is what we should expect, I suppose. They also tell me that the Palais Chaillot, where we are to meet on November 6, has not yet been completely renovated, but perhaps everything can be ready for the opening.
I was delighted to be greeted at the station by my granddaughter, Sistine, and her husband. They both seem to have fallen in love with Paris. She is taking French lessons, which she enjoys, and has reached the stage of being able to understand everything.
On the steamer coming over, I met a French jurist, Judge Marguerite Haller, who, at the invitation of our State Department, has been studying some of our courts and penal institutions.
She gave me a very interesting report to read, written by a French superintendent of penal institutions who made the study for the United Nations and the French government. Judge Haller will write a supplementary report to this and I was interested to find that nothing comparable to our probation system exists in France.
Her observations seemed to me very fair and valid. Even though her English is excellent, her background and training are different. She thought most of our institutions were excellent but she thinks our classification of prisoners is not as well done as in some other countries. She seemed to me a very intelligent woman and I hope I shall see her again. She is a judge in Lille, however, and I do not know whether I shall be traveling in that direction on this trip.
On arrival at the Crillon almost the first person I saw was Mrs. Perle Mesta, who was about to leave for Luxembourg. I shall certainly try to go to see her for a weekend while we are here.