FEBRUARY 3, 1953
NEW YORK, Monday—The other day I was talking about the hope that I have that throughout this country in the course of the next year we will be able to develop sufficient cooperation between the chapters of the American Association for the United Nations and all other organizations so that even when a group is in opposition to the U.N., or any particular U.N. activity, it will still be willing to hold a discussion meeting. The two sides of any question can then be heard with sufficiently open minds. If the disagreement is valid, some change can be recommended and worked out. On the other hand, if the disagreement is caused by opinion based on incorrect information, that can be proved to everyone's satisfaction.
I would particularly hope this would be the case when the Daughters of the Revolution and the American Legion are concerned. Both of these groups are composed of people who are fundamentally patriotic and I think there is value for the community as a whole in getting at the truth of the positions that are often inadequately stated and not understood, and therefore cause disagreement.
I realize there are people who oppose the U.N. for reasons of pure self-interest, which have nothing to do with the reasons they put before the public. And there are some who honestly still believe that we can turn the clock back and live in isolation. But I think a broader understanding would be accepted if there is free and open discussion before an open-minded audience.
When I expressed my hope of achieving this cooperation at a meeting the other day, someone in the audience sent me a little verse, which you might like to read:
Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout.
But love and I had the wit to win,
We drew a circle that took him in."
That is a good description of what cooperation should really mean.
I came down to New York City on Sunday afternoon and had my grandson and his wife, who are back from their holiday in California, at dinner. Mr. and Mrs. Frank Davison, who are here from Paris on their holiday, also dined with us. Mrs. Davison, who was a French girl, loves America and has close family ties in this country.
Madame Petsch, the widow of an ex-member of the French government who also has many ties in the U.S., is over here at present, so I feel that I am having a chance to get a little of the Paris atmosphere which I like to acquire even when I cannot be in that delightful city myself.