DECEMBER 20, 1951
PARIS, Wednesday—We had a visit in the United Nations the other day from Harold Stassen. He sat in Secretary-General Trygve Lie's box, where Dr. Ralph Bunche tried to tell Mr. and Mrs. Stassen something of the complicated voting that was going on for the remaining Security Council seat. The result was a deadlock and the vote was postponed until the plenary sessions this week. This time, however, Greece was within five votes of the necessary two-thirds and Byelo-Russia was within seventeen.
During this rather lengthy voting process I was in Committee Three, where we were supposed to hear Mr. Pavlov of the Soviet Union, but he did not appear. Two speeches were made, however; one by the Byelo-Russian who attacked the United States and me personally as head of a clique that was preparing for war against the peace-loving Soviet Union. The other speaker, the Polish delegate, was milder but repeated the usual theme.
I had a little chat with Clark Eichelberger, who is getting a good idea of the various activities and trends of thought in the few days he has been here.
Disagreeable as it is to read about the tax scandals and the various public officials who are getting into trouble I was glad that President Truman is taking a strong stand. I think perhaps when a party has been in power for a considerable time it's well for it to be brought face to face with any shortcomings and to realize that government is not quite the same as business. Into government service there must enter a certain amount of idealism and devotion because no one is adequately paid. This is true on the upper levels, at least.
It is also true that McCarthyism has tended to drive out of public service many good men, and, while it has perhaps weeded out some bad ones, I sometimes wonder whether we haven't lost more than we have gained in good public servants. One thing is sure and that is that it hasn't bothered dishonest men. They have gone gaily on until they were caught, and I think we just have to be glad that they are being caught and hope for a revival of the kind of service that is incorruptible.
I have a letter from Mr. Stuart Little of the National Safety Council who asks that I point out to my readers that a year ago the toll of Christmas and New Year's celebrations was 849 people killed and 10,000 injured in accidents on United States streets and highways. A rather simple suggestion is made which may not eliminate the accidents but may help somewhat. It is that all party-givers serve strong hot coffee to their guests before they depart on their homeward way. The idea is that this will get more people safely home.
We cannot afford to ignore this request from the National Safety Council, which seems such an easy one to carry out. It is certainly in the public interest to cut down accidents, which must bring sorrow to so many people at this time when there should be only rejoicing.