JANUARY 3, 1952
PARIS, Wednesday—The trip from New York to Paris by air on New Year's Eve was a remarkably smooth and pleasant one. There were only 26 people on board, so I surmise that New Year's Eve is not considered a good time to travel.
The exact hour of midnight was hard to determine, as time was changing while we flew. For that reason I slept very peacefully and only woke long enough to say Happy New Year to a few people who insisted on keeping awake for the moment which was almost impossible to identify.
We arrived in Paris at 11:30 a.m., not having stopped at either Gander or Shannon, and finding New Year's Day clear, beautiful and fairly warm. We made the trip actually in 12 straight hours of flight.
One of our Boston cousins, Forbes Amory, turned up for lunch. In the afternoon we could not resist the nice weather and drove out with my Seagrave grandchildren and small great-grandchild to the Bois De Boulogne to look at the ducks in the lake.
We came back to the Crillon to have Mr. and Mrs. Henry Morgenthau Jr. in for tea, then a few friends for dinner and a little preparation for Wednesday and the renewal of work.
I am interested to see in the newspapers that the President is considering bringing the case of the American fliers recently ransomed from Hungary before the General Assembly. It seems to me that the best place for such a case to be heard is before the International Court of Justice.
We paid a ransom in order to have our men freed as rapidly as possible, and we have forbidden our nationals to travel in Hungary and closed two of the Hungarian consulates in the U.S. as a measure of retaliation. But I am glad to know that we are considering taking further measures.
But if the case comes up in the U.N., even though Hungary is a satellite of the Soviet Union, the latter would take no responsibility. There would be accusations and counter-accusations. In the end, perhaps one would get a vote condemning Hungary, but there would certainly be some abstentions and from my point of view it would not have the same effect as a real trial before the International Court.
There the case could be presented with legal evidence and heard impartially. Condemnation to me under these circumstances would seem to bear greater weight. And our country feels so sure of the justice of its case that if it were heard under these circumstances, I feel sure that Hungary would lose considerable face and even be directed to return the money which we paid for ransom.