MAY 6, 1954
NEW YORK—After a somewhat hectic and roundabout journey Mr. Clark Eichelberger, Miss Patricia Baillargeon and I arrived on Monday morning in Champaign, Illinois, to find already in progress a good state meeting of the American Association for the United Nations. In attendance were representatives or groups from 21 cities in the Chicago area.
Professor Roalfe of Northwestern University had talked organization prior to our arrival, and already there had been named a committee to report back to the full Committee for State Chairmen and to the rest of the state board. That assures us that the movement will go forward rapidly. During this organizational period the Illinois units will use our well-established Chicago office as the center for the time being. As progress is made, chapters will be developed throughout the state and joined in the membership drive as soon as possible.
We spent 40 minutes after our arrival with the 65 people from all over the state, then the representatives of the press came and we held our press conference as part of the whole meeting. The YMCA of Illinois University had offered us their hospitality for this meeting and we are very greatly indebted to them for the facilities they put at our disposal.
At lunch, after both Mr. Eichelberger and I spoke briefly, a short question period was held. Then the afternoon meeting began.
At this meeting there were no speeches. We spent the entire time in discussion and in answering questions as to the best way of organizing to overcome the particular difficulties in the State of Illinois. A state organization always has problems that differ from groups in metropolitan areas, as we who live in New York well know. We encountered the same difficulties in California, where we have two state chairmen, one for Northern California in San Francisco, and one for Southern California in Los Angeles.
On Monday evening there was a dinner and a mass meeting at which, of course, we talked about the United Nations and its specialized agencies.
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I was interested to read in a Chicago newspaper Monday morning about Secretary of State Dulles returning home from Geneva with a new program for Asian policy. Of course, he is in Washington by this time.
The new program includes bringing the question of Indo-China to the United Nations and treating it somewhat in the way that the Greek question was treated when Great Britain felt it must give up there.
We face a most difficult situation in Indo-China, but bringing the question to the United Nations is, I think, a very wise suggestion, and under the circumstances probably the only suggestion that will bring unity in Asia. And although we may not like the point of view of many of the Asian nations, we must face the fact that those nations are interested in independence just as we are, and it may well be that the ultimate throwing over of Soviet influence may depend on the people of Asia themselves. One must hope that this move may be fruitful of some solution in the near future.