OCTOBER 11, 1946
NEW YORK, Thursday—The dinner given by Freedom House in honor of Bernard M. Baruch, to whom they gave their annual award for outstanding service in the cause of peace, was a very significant occasion. Here is a man who has not held elective public office and yet has been constantly in the public eye because, through his services to the public, he has built for himself an exceptional place in the esteem of many men.
I often think it must be hard to sit and hear yourself eulogized. I know that when I am being introduced as a speaker, I usually think: "Well, they have to justify having invited me, so all this praise is very pleasant but must not be taken too seriously." It was different, however, the other night. Mr. Baruch had to take the praise seriously because the whole occasion revolved around him, and it was his past and present actions which had brought him so much genuine respect and admiration from men who themselves stand very high in the public's esteem.
* * *
One of the speakers, Secretary of the Treasury John W. Snyder, mentioned the fact that we were in a unique position because we had seen the atomic age born. Most of us wonder whether seeing it born is half as important as seeing it develop along the proper lines!
This is why Mr. Baruch's work as U. S. representative on the United Nations Atomic Energy Commission means so much to us all. If only a working agreement can be reached under which the commercial development of atomic energy can be both guarded and encouraged, I think we will have gone a long way toward establishing peace.
Just because this country has the atom bomb does not mean that other nations are not developing other weapons. But if we could reach an agreement for the control and release of this energy, the new developments for peace might be so exciting that one could really start a joint disarmament program which would cover all types of armament. This would give us greater security than we could have in any other way.
I was happy at the recognition accorded an old friend, and I pray that Mr. Baruch may long be able to continue the type of unselfish work he is now doing.
* * *
Yesterday afternoon, one of my neighbors, Xanti Schawinsky, came to talk to me about the memorial to my husband which is to be erected in Monterey, Mexico. He had visited the site with the two architects and the sculptor whose idea is to be executed. He tells me that the memorial will house a community center, and will be a little way off the Pan-American Highway, so that people entering the city can easily drive in to see it. And it will probably be attached to a stadium. The conception is on a very grand scale. Nothing of the kind has been created before in Mexico.
I am deeply appreciative of this honor, and appreciated kindness of Mr. Schawinsky in coming to tell me about the enthusiasm which the architects and the sculptor are showing in undertaking their work.