MAY 15, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I forgot entirely on Sunday to tell you of an art exhibition at the library in Hyde Park which I had the pleasure of seeing. The artist, Olin Dows, had sent me a card remarking that this might be the only time his war paintings would be gathered together. Of course, I was most anxious to see them.
They are well worth seeing, not only as paintings but because of the picture they give of our soldiers in Europe. The weariness and the dirt are there, but so are the alertness and the strength. I enjoyed the little while that I spent looking at the collection.
Mr. Dows is one of our native products. The murals in both the little postoffice in Hyde Park and the postoffice in Rhinebeck, N.Y., were done by him some years ago.
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Yesterday afternoon, the United Nations Commission on Human Rights virtually finished the major part of its current work. There remains, of course, the consideration of the report of the Subcommission on the Status of Women, which will come today, and the final going-over of the Commission's whole report as put together in one document by the secretariat and the rapporteur, Mr. K. C. Neogi of India.
Bearing in mind that we, a nuclear commission, were asked to make recommendations for the setup of the full commission and for its work and plans, I think we have done a helpful piece of work. The real work, of course, remains to be done in the next series of meetings, when the actual writing of an international bill of rights will have to be undertaken; and when the full subcommission on the status of women, and one on freedom of information, will be setup and will begin their work.
We have felt that there could be no human rights without freedom of information. Therefore, we have recommended only this one new subcommission, wanting to give it priority over everything else. It will involve much work, because information today is not furnished just by the press. The radio and the movie industry take a great part in informing the people of the world.
Of course, in this country, all these avenues of information are very highly developed and they are run as extensive businesses. There is no government control, and whatever information the government itself furnishes, either at home or abroad, is very jealously watched by those avenues of information which are run as private enterprises.
In many other countries, however, the situation will be very different for a long time. Freedom of information as we understand it may be almost unattainable in many parts of the world for some time to come.
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I am sure everyone read with great interest the report which Herbert Hoover made to the President on his return from his worldwide trip. It is gratifying to know that the world grain deficit is less today than it was when he started out. Though his solutions for the problem seem to involve decisions on the part of Great Britain and Russia, which have not as yet been made, still it seems probable that any nation will do the maximum that they are able to do under the circumstances.
It is obvious that rationing in this country would not provide the food needed for famine relief abroad, but if the amount set aside for shipment is very great, it is bound to reduce our home supplies. It seems to me, therefore, that it would be fairer to plan as soon as possible on rationing such things as must be curtailed. That would mean that all of us would get our fair share at home, and all of us would make a common sacrifice.