DECEMBER 11, 1951
PARIS, Monday—There is one thing that always astonishes me in my contacts with the representatives of other nations and the people I meet over here. After you get over the formalities, if you are long enough with anyone so they begin to feel a little free and easy with you, they are sure to say in a confidential way: "Now do tell me, does the United States really want peace with the Soviet Union?"
At first I thought it was a funny question and made fun of it, but now I have decided that people are really serious.
I have come to the conclusion that we need to bend our efforts, private and public, to convincing the world and its people that we have no desire for war. There is nothing in the world that we want from anyone except the right for legitimate and friendly commerce, which means that one is living in a free and fearless world.
I went to a meeting of the nongovernmental organizations and it was extremely interesting to see how many have representatives here who faithfully go to the United Nations meetings and attend discussions besides.
One lady made a suggestion that I think is very good. She says that from her point of view and the reactions she has come across here, one of our magazines, which published a very sensational number on the possibilities of World War III, had done us harm throughout Europe. On every side she heard it said that the Cominform should have paid for having the particular issue published because it served their purposes so well. Of course, that was not the intention of the editor or of those who contributed to this number, but her suggestion for the future was excellent. She said that this same magazine should now get out a number showing what a world at peace could become, what could happen in development, in rehabilitation, and what it could mean to individuals the world over.
I went last week to congratulate the Finns on their independence day. I have such an admiration for the people of Finland.
The General Assembly took the entire day last Thursday to elect three members to the Security Council.
Some delegates are disappointed, I am sure, but Sir Benegal Rau of India must be glad to be on the International Court and the Latin Americans must be fully satisfied because they elected their candidate and preserved their ratio of seats on the International Court. Some hard feelings were developed previous to these elections, which I think will take some time to heal.
I am new at watching all the maneuvers and the inevitable lobbying that goes on, but certain things that I have watched have not made me particularly happy. We may be somewhat to blame, but on the whole I think our decisions were made on points of principle and so I have no regrets on what we actually did, though I think perhaps we can improve on our way of doing it.