DECEMBER 20, 1954
HYDE PARK—I am particularly interested to see that we have now agreed to negotiate on the subject of our imprisoned flyers in Communist China in an attempt to find some basis of exchange. I cannot help but feel that the Secretary-General of the U.N. will be a very successful negotiator, doing far better than we could do if we tried to handle this entirely by ourselves. I am glad that we are dealing through the U.N. and that the problem is being considered as a threat to all people rather than just a threat to the one nation.
In thinking about this question of human rights, I have lately wondered whether anywhere in the world they are the concern of all the world or should be considered only as a domestic question. France, the Union of South Africa and the Soviets generally seem to feel they must be considered as a purely domestic question. But the more I turn this over in my mind the more I feel convinced that, at least for those nations that signed the charter of the U.N., human rights must be viewed as the concern of all the nations and not only the concern of an individual nation.
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I went to a board meeting of Brandeis University on Thursday. I must acknowledge that these are the most gratifying meetings one can attend, for the university seems to grow by leaps and bounds and everyone seems interested in its welfare.
In the evening I attended the dinner for the new president of the board, Abraham Feinberg. He was paid many high tributes; but those who attended the dinner learned a good deal about Brandeis and that is always gratifying to those who are interested in the university.
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I have just received a most fascinating publication called "The World At Your Fingertips," a Dial-A-Gram or Dial Encyclopedia. It answers innumerable questions by the turn of a dial, and you will find out many useful facts if you use it. Schoolchildren will find it most helpful. For example, how many people know that two out of every three people in the world are colored? And in what country do you think the average income is only $25.00 per year? You will find these and many other unusual facts by turning the Dial-A-Gram.
I have also been sent a number of books lately that I want to mention. One is "Rutherford B. Hayes and His America," by Harry Barnard. It is a truly delightful book and one we have long needed, for we do not know enough about many of our former Presidents. I think a book called "The Red Carpet," by Marshall MacDuffie, will be of great interest to people who want to know more about the Soviet Union. My friend, Joseph Baratz of Degania, Israel, has written the story of "A Village By the Jordan," and anyone who wants to understand the background of some of the early settlers in Israel should read this book.