APRIL 21, 1952
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I met with a group of young church people from Sterling, Mass., at noon yesterday. They decided that International House was the best place where they could lunch. I've found that ordinarily I cannot try to reach such distant places in the hour and a half at my disposal for lunch, and it is simpler to stay in the United Nations building. But luckily the commission was waiting for a Russian translation of one of the documents and didn't meet until well after three o'clock. I dashed up to International House, made my speech, answered questions and dashed back to the United Nations building. The commission had not yet begun to work and I hurriedly inquired if there was a place nearby where I could buy a sandwich. I discovered that by walking through several corridors and taking an elevator I emerged in the library building near a little place where snacks are available. I got a swiss cheese sandwich and carried it back to my desk, where I ate it very comfortably before we were called to order.
After long procedural arguments, we voted on the article to be included in the covenants dealing with the rights of people to self-determination. When it came to voting on the whole of the article, however, they decided to adjourn rather than to take the last vote. It is very difficult sometimes to understand why people behave as they do; but in this case I learned that the delegate from Uruguay, having worked without a Spanish translation, was not sure of what he had voted on and wanted to see the article in full in Spanish before his final vote. This taught me a lesson, for I had not realized how hard it is for people to work in a language with which they are not thoroughly familiar. I know, too, that one of my faults is that I do not explain carefully enough some of the United States positions because they seem so evident to me and easy to understand. I have to remind myself that what is evident to me is far from evident to someone who does not know the language well.
At the Democratic dinner in New York the other day, Senator Robert S. Kerr of Oklahoma said one thing which I think may have some influence with the voters before next November. Said Senator Kerr: "Republicans have all the generals."
The American people have not been so happy over their military men in civilian posts. All our generals, when they come home from successful expeditions, are lionized and idolized—and rightly so, for they have done a remarkable job and deserve all the adulation which comes their way. But that doesn't necessarily mean that they are going to be a wild success in civilian jobs, which are often quite different, requiring different qualities and different training. The generals have not been in public life in the way that politicians are in public life, and are not accustomed to the seamy side of politics. It is harder for them to take abuse and unfair treatment. We really have to wait to find out how well our generals will do when they get into the rough and tumble of a civilian campaign!