FEBRUARY 1, 1952
PARIS, Thursday—I read with some concern yesterday the story of the hurricane in the Fiji Islands. Having been there in the summer of 1943, I have kept a very charming picture in my mind of the islands. I can recall distinctly my visit with the governor-general in the capital and my inspection of the rest camp for our men who had been fighting on Guadalcanal.
I hate to think of the damage a hurricane could do to that charming group of islands. And to have the main crops—sugar cane, copra, and various fruits—really harmed will mean hardship for all the people on the islands. When one has seen a place and can picture its people in one's mind it becomes much more a personal thing if one reads either good or bad news about that particular place.
* * *
We who are serving here in the U.N. get a summary of what is said in the Russian press and on the Russian radio and it is an extraordinary thing to discover that the Russians are the only ones who ever seem to speak in the U.N. meetings. As far as their press is concerned no one else opens his or her mouth.
No matter how a vote turns out, it is always a victory for them, and though we are the ones who won in the General Assembly and had our plan accepted for setting up a disarmament commission, according to the Russian press our suggestions were all discredited.
They say that we stand practically isolated from the rest of the world.
This same type of information also is poured forth in passionate speeches in every committee. Soviet delegate Pavlov in Committee Three informed me the other day that he felt sorry for our loneliness. I wondered just what he meant by being lonely. I have never yet been able to cross the lounge without being stopped several times. But I can't blame them for the speeches they make nor for the reports they send back to their own country; it would be too gloomy if they told the truth!
I do blame our own press in the U.S., however, for giving so much more space to what the Russians say on some occasions than they give to what our own representatives say.
* * *
I am a little surprised by a statement in the papers quoting a speech given by Dr. Reinhold Neibuhr at the Third National Conference of the U.S. National Commission for UNESCO.
I cannot quite understand why he should be "glad" that the United States was defeated in the U.N. vote on membership last week, and he gave as his reason that American policy must be brought under the influence of world opinion.
I should like to tell him that no one can serve in the U.N. without being in constant touch with world opinion, and our State Department is in close touch with our delegation in the U.N. every day.
Why should Doctor Neibuhr want to have as members of the U.N. people who quite obviously do not meet the qualifications for membership? He is evidently unaware of certain combinations of votes that can be brought to bear on situations such as the membership vote for a variety of reasons and which have nothing whatever to do with the rights or wrongs of questions under discussion and certainly do not represent world opinion.