DECEMBER 28, 1953
HYDE PARK, Sunday—Last week was full of Christmas parties. On Wednesday afternoon I went to the office for a party there at 3:30. Mr. Eichelberger took this opportunity to tell us of the days when he was director of the League of Nations Association. In those days the League had been defeated in this country. The people who were interested in it were distinctly in the minority, and it took courage to form an organization to change public opinion in the United States. The work done, however, probably helped a great deal when the United Nations was in the process of acceptance by the people of the country, and now we work together with the majority in this country who do approve of the U.N.
I am amused to find that a good many organizations approve only of the existence of an organization called the United Nations. They believe in the principle of cooperation, but they are very careful never to become involved in backing the U.N. on any specific act for fear that might be unpopular in the United States among certain groups.
I find, more and more, that the careful people of the world want to work with educational groups which give people information but never express an opinion as to whether an action is good or bad. Such an opinion might get one into trouble somewhere. I sometimes wonder what some of our earliest ancestors would think of this attitude of ours. Our history might have been very different if they had been unwilling to back any action.
The President must be pleased that his suggestion on atomic energy gained at least a partial acceptance from the Soviet Union. The Russians could not help coming back to their old theme, but to have them willing even to consider a new approach is a step in the right direction. The President's plan did not contemplate any agreements on weapons of war, but just a pool of a certain amount of atomic material within the U.N. to permit experimentation in peacetime uses. I was glad, nevertheless, to see that both the President and the Secretary of State did not refuse to discuss any subject the Soviets wish to discuss. That is a step forward and everyone must congratulate the President.
Earlier in the week I went to the world premiere of the motion picture, "King of the Khyber Rifles." Although some of the photography seemed to me not as perfect as it might have been, it was a colorful and exciting picture which held your interest the whole time.
I looked at the country with special interest, having been through the Khyber Pass only a few years ago. It was engrossing to see again the desert and the mountains and the strange, curious figures like those one caught sight of on the horizon. I enjoyed the evening and hope many others will enjoy this picture also.