MARCH 6, 1954
NEW YORK, Friday—I got home late Wednesday afternoon from the American Association for the U.N. conference which was held in Washington. I think it was one of the most successful conferences I remember. Over 100 national and international organizations attended and three or four hundred people were in attendance every day.
Wednesday was devoted to the meeting of the board of governors which is a device by which we are enabled to get the advice of people from all over the country, even though they are not able to serve on the board of directors. The AAUN is incorporated under the laws of the State of New York and therefore a fair number of the members of the board have to be residents of the metropolitan area, since it is so difficult for people in faraway places to get to monthly meetings. The board of governors acts in an advisory capacity and from them we can get information by mail in between the opportunities we may have to meet together.
In the AAUN, Republicans and Democrats work together to support the United Nations and there is as little of the party line drawn as I know of in any organization. I think the AAUN is strengthened by the holding of this conference yearly. We get the advantage of wide discussion and opinion from people in many groups and in many parts of the country. There is representation from practically every area of the United States.
I have just been sent from California a statement asking that the Bricker amendment be supported because the proposed covenant of human rights does not include an article on the ownership of property but does state that a government should guarantee adequate housing for its citizens. The gentleman writing this article wrote too soon, for he will have noticed by now that our delegation to the Human Rights Commission has proposed that the Covenant on Civil and Political Rights should contain an article on the ownership of property.
Of course, neither of these Human Rights Covenants has been completed. If they ever are completed, our government has recently stated that it would not present them to the present Congress. But even if they were presented to a Congress in the future, it would require a two-thirds vote before we could adhere to a treaty. It is highly improbable that Congress would vote in favor of any convenant which did not include the right to own property.