OCTOBER 26, 1946
NEW YORK, Friday—It is interesting to know that while the United Nations General Assembly is holding its first plenary sessions in Flushing Meadows Park, there are studies being made of the United Nations Charter in other parts of the country that will lead to a more intelligent understanding of the work that is now being done. For instance, from October 21 to 25, Mundelein College in Chicago, sponsored a five-day institute for the study of the United Nations Charter. In addition, they held seminars to discuss such subjects as the world health organization, trade unions in the United States, and the world bank and stabilization fund.
That there is a live interest among students in the work of the United Nations is evidenced by the fact that as I sat in the cafeteria during lunch yesterday, several youngsters from high school papers came up to me to let me know that they were reporting on the sessions. Five wounded men from Halloran Hospital also came over to attend the sessions, and one of them fairly burst out of a telephone booth as I walked through the corridor and told me breathlessly that they were having a wonderful day. They told me that Secretary General Trygve Lie, and Senator Arthur H. Vandenberg had both been over to talk with them.
Many people from many countries are gravitating to the meetings of the General Assembly to get a glimpse of the delegates as they go in and out of the building. Among them I saw a woman for whom I have a deep admiration, Miss Louise Yim from Korea. I hope that she will have the opportunity to tell her story to the right person who can give her the advice she seeks and needs, for I know she has made valiant efforts to help the cause of education and liberty in her country.
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We had a brief meeting yesterday of Committee #3 on Social and Humanitarian Affairs, for the purpose of electing a new chairman, since Peter Fraser, Prime Minister of New Zealand, who was our chairman in London, was unable to return for the present session. The delegate from Poland suggested that the present New Zealand delegate be elected as chairman and many delegates rose to second him.
The delegate from Canada explained, however, that we were not solely taking into consideration the geographical area but were also considering the individual's capacity. He felt sure that we would have in His Excellency Sir Carl August Berendsen a very capable chairman. It is evident, of course, that while due consideration must be given to geographical representation, there must be equal consideration for the capacity of the individual for any position to which he is elected.
It looks as though there would be fewer plenary sessions during which delegates would speak on the reports of the Secretary General, of the Security Council and of the Economic and Social Council. Everyone was interested in the Secretary General's report which he made orally to supplement his written report. I think it was well for him to remind us how difficult the work of the secretariat has been in view of the numerous moves and reorganizations which have had to take place.
There seems to be more interest in getting down to the work of the committees at this session. It is in these committees that the problems, which the Assembly must settle, will come up. And it is on the reports of these committees that the really interesting debates will come toward the latter part of the session.