MARCH 6, 1953
NEW YORK, Thursday—The last two days have been fairly busy. I came into New York on Monday night by the midnight train in order to keep some appointments that I had made here for Tuesday.
One of the engagements was with some of the newspaper women who had been to the first pre-inauguration press conference in Washington in 1933 and some who had not been at that one but who had attended later ones. We got together to celebrate the 20th anniversary of that first press conference, and we talked a little about the first one that came after the inauguration. There was some reminiscing and some talk of things that had happened more nearly in the present, such as recollections of my visit to India last winter with one of the correspondents. We had fun and I think reunions of this kind are pleasant reminders of the past.
I went out to Rockville Center, Long Island, for an evening meeting on Tuesday to talk about the Near East and the United Nations. Then I got back to the city just in time to make the midnight train to Washington, since it looked as though there would be little chance of the planes flying normally early Wednesday morning.
In Washington I attended the board of governors' meeting of the American Association for the United Nations at the Shoreham Hotel on Wednesday morning, and my plan of organization and of work was approved.
I was reminded of something that I had already known, namely, that having a plan and putting it into operation are two very different things. It is difficult to find people who will do work on a volunteer basis. Good organizers do not grow on every bush. I don't know who should know that better than I do, having watched government programs in which some people achieve good results in one place and poor ones in another. But in any project one must make a beginning and if one finds that things do not work just as one hoped, one must then try to make the needed adjustments and changes.
I took the one o'clock train back to New York City because the planes were uncertain, for I had an engagement after dinner to speak on the United Nations at the National Democratic Club here in the city.
The four and a half hours on the train were rather a Godsend and I devoted much of the time to correspondence. I had been appalled at the amount of mail I had found at my hotel on Tuesday, so I took some of it along to Washington. On the way back on the train I signed letters. Heaven knows whether anyone will be able to read my signature because the train shook considerably. I read all the other letters that needed marking, so I was not so worried when I reached home to find another fairly sizable mountain of mail awaiting me. But it was not what it would have been if I had not toted along a briefcase full.
I must record here the fact that I inadvertently or through a clerical error offended several people in a recent column by alluding to the Republic of China. Apparently they would like me to say the People's Communist Republic of China. As a matter of fact, Chiang Kai Shek's government on Formosa is called the Nationalist Government of China. I make this explanation to calm some of the people who seem to think that I did not know the difference between the two and was using the wrong name.