APRIL 19, 1955
BOULDER, Colo.—A whole day of meetings for the New Jersey chapters of the American Association for the United Nations were held in Trenton last Friday. I went down in the morning and spoke at the morning session, went to a small buffet luncheon, and was interviewed on the radio after lunch before returning to New York.
Since coming back from my trip abroad I am very proud of every evidence I have seen of the activity of our branches. On the whole I had found so little activity on a national basis in the countries I visited. In the foreign countries whatever was planned would be purely a headquarters matter, a meeting on a high level, but nothing that reached out to the masses of the people so far as I could see.
However, I was told that in a number of cases work was being done in the schools, and among the projects were contests for posters made up by the youngsters. I was not fortunate enough to see any of these contests, though.
I realize that in nearly every country, especially in our own, the work of the specialized agencies brings the United Nations closer to the people as a whole. We are so fortunate that we do not need to ask for the help of any specialized agencies. But that is not true of the people of other countries, so they are more apt to know about the field work that is carried on from day to day by the U.N. than do the people of our own country.
Of course, in the United Kingdom the British Association for the U.N. has been long established and is very active throughout the country, and they have an advantage over us in not having quite so much territory to cover!
I have just received from Congressman Frank Thompson Jr. of New Jersey a copy of a bill that he has introduced in the House of Representatives. This measure would "establish a program of cultural interchange with foreign countries to meet the challenge of competitive coexistence with communism, to establish a Federal advisory commission to advise the Federal government on ways to encourage artistic and cultural endeavor and appreciation, to provide awards of merit and for other purposes."
I am always glad to see interest being aroused in cultural interchanges because that is one of the ways, and an important way, to combat communism.
I am glad, for instance, that we have sent very good exhibitions of our theatre, of our paintings, and of our music to appear in the Paris festival this summer. The Soviet Union sends some of its cultural achievements, which would indicate that they understand that this is one of the ways that can create greater understanding and win friends throughout the world.
Someday I hope that by private subscription, but with the cooperation of the government, there will be a national fine arts center in our nation's capital. Washington needs such a center and it would add to the interest of visitors from all over our nation.
(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)