DECEMBER 7, 1951
PARIS, Thursday—Several of the United Nations delegates were honored this week by being invited to attend a performance of the opera, "Jeanne au Bucher" by M. Paul Claudel.
The opera in Paris is always a treat and President Auriol kindly invited Dr. and Mrs. Philip Jessup and myself to sit in his box, as Ambassador and Mrs. Warren Austin were not able to go.
I was reminded, as I sat there, of an occasion in the United States which is worthy of being remembered. This is that on December 13 the 5,000th concert of the Philharmonic Symphony Society of New York will take place. This orchestra is America's oldest and the third oldest in the world. It started in 1842 when New York had less than 400,000 inhabitants and it has given concerts every year since then.
At Carnegie Hall on the occasion of this 5,000th performance an interesting audience composed of outstanding figures in music, art and civic circles, as well as a group of the "oldest subscribers," will be present. The City of New York will present a commemorative plaque to the society and there will, of course, be a very special concert.
Just so the audience may be reminded of the musical taste of over a century ago, the opening number will be by the Bohemian composer, Johann Wenzeslaus Kalliwoda. This was the closing number at the first performance given on December 7, 1842, at the Apollo rooms on lower Broadway. And to make sure that we have the contrast of today's taste in music, there will be a first performance of the Bartok divertimento for strings.
I think this concert will be a very interesting and delightful one and we in the United States, who so often are told that we live only for the material things of life, should rejoice on such occasions when we can say to the world that we have always had people who appreciated and valued beauty and art. And, as we grow more mature, we hope more people will appreciate these values.
I attended the meeting of a group of learned gentlemen, called together by UNESCO, who are going to edit, with proper commentaries, a book that will gather together the significant documents on human rights from the very earliest days. This will give every nation an opportunity to have before it the history of the development of human rights down to today.
The first meeting of the subcommittee to discuss disarmament and to report to the General Assembly on the terms of reference took place the other day and Russia's Andrei Vishinsky was his old confusing self by discussing everything except, the business in hand. Mr. Vishinsky is trying to make capital out of the fact that he is the only Foreign Secretary attending these meetings, but, as a matter of fact, the people from other countries who are attending are as important in their home governments as is Mr. Vishinsky to his.