DECEMBER 1, 1956
NEW YORK—I had the pleasure Thursday afternoon of having for tea a number of guests who are studying at the United Nations for a month or more. I enjoy very much seeing people who are here from foreign countries and I was happy that we had this opportunity to get together.
Two of them, Mr. Masdani of Indonesia and Mr. Casadio of Italy, represent their U.N. Associations. The latter told me it was difficult for him to be away because the Italian U.N. Association has a rather small staff, but both of them said they were finding their time in the United States extremely interesting.
Of course, they could not have come at any time more crucial to the world than the present period is in the U.N. Either the U.N. succeeds in making a peace or it looks to me as though war will be the inevitable outcome.
And the U.N. can make a peace only if the member nations are willing to work quickly and steadily for solutions of the problems immediately before us. Too much delay is likely to bring either long inaction or such desperate action that it is impossible to foresee the results.
My son, James, and his wife had an early dinner, then went off to where he was to make a speech. After that, they went to Washington. Though it is crowded in my little New York apartment when we have guests, I really thought it was empty once they were gone!
In the evening I went to a benefit for the English Speaking Union. The play was an English drama by Terence Rattigan, "The Sleeping Prince."
Three very excellent actors play the important parts. Barbara Bel Geddes is charming, and Michael Redgrave and Cathleen Nesbitt make as much as can be made of their parts.
This play, which is sub-captioned "An Occasional Fairy Tale," reminds me somewhat of the days of my youth when certain kinds of plays were entirely improbable—perhaps not quite as naughty as this one, but the naughtiness is so obvious that it seems almost uninteresting.
I was slightly amused by it all but came away with a rather empty feeling. I spent an evening on something so very light that it left me little in the way of substance, except appreciation of the acting.
The President has now appointed an expediter for the Hungarian refugee problem. Even he seems to think there has been too much red tape in admitting these refugees, but one cannot help wondering whether Tracy S. Voorhees will find it easier than some other people who have to work with Scott McCleod, administrator of the refugee program.
Even 55 minutes of processing at the airport seems rather lengthy when all you need know is that these poor people have fled their native land and are seeking asylum. Whatever else is needed could be found out later on.