JANUARY 31, 1953
NEW YORK, Friday—I think it might be well for me to try to explain two things that seem to be rather puzzling. I have been asked about them after several speeches.
The first question nearly always is: When 1955 comes around and there is a revision of the Charter of the United Nations do you think the veto should be abolished?
This, of course, will be one of the big questions of the day and it is going to be a difficult one for anyone to decide. When the Charter was written all of the great nations were anxious to have the veto in the Security Council. But this veto power has been so misused by the Soviets that it has been difficult to function at times in the Security Council.
I think there were some people, even among the great powers, who felt that if the veto could be abolished it might help matters along. In the meantime, to get around the veto in the Security Council, it is always possible to bring up a matter in the General Assembly if the Security Council is no longer dealing with it.
Whether in 1955 it will be decided by the present Administration that it would be better to go on using this device or to make a change will depend, of course, on the best judgement of those who are handling matters at that time in the U.N. and in the State Department.
There have been times when I thought it would be better to give up the veto, but at such moments I have always recognized that it is a matter that must be examined and considered from every point of view.
The other question I am most often asked is whether I advocate clemency for the Rosenbergs.
I not only do not advocate clemency but think only the President and his legal advisers could reach any kind of sound judgement in this matter.
It is true that we never executed anyone in time of peace on the charge of treason. Some, however, feel that we are not enjoying peace at present and I am not sure that there is not something to be said for that point of view. While we may not be fighting World War III, we certainly have plenty of small wars going on in different parts of the world, including the war in Korea in which we are a major partner.
All these things should be taken into consideration by the proper authorities. There is no reason for meetings to be held or for petitions to be signed. The case is being given complete and careful consideration and I feel quite sure there is no need for concern on the part of people who can know very little about the details.
I had a delightful luncheon on Thursday with the members of the Young Republican Club on the subject of the attacks on the U.N. I thought at first they must have invited me by mistake and was very glad to learn it was not a mistake!