DECEMBER 5, 1947
GENEVA—It was impressive seeing for the first time the wonderful League of Nations Palace, where the Human Rights Commission is holding its meetings. The Palace is a beautiful building in a lovely setting, and the arrangements for offices and conference rooms are certainly ideal.
The only thing I miss is the simultaneous translation which we had at our meetings at Lake Success and which does expedite the commission's work. On the whole, however, our work is progressing rapidly, and at our first meeting we were already discussing the form which the international bill of human rights should take.
At that meeting, a few of our members were still absent. We were without the delegate from China and our rapporteur, Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon. The latter had not even sent us word of his whereabouts, so we did not know whether he was delayed on a ship or a plane!
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The restaurant in the Palace of Nations is pleasant, with a lovely view. The French delegate, Prof. Rene Cassin, and his wife lunched with us there. I had the pleasure of seeing him so often in the United States that it was a delight finally to meet his wife and find her as charming and friendly as he himself has always been.
The press having asked me for an interview, I asked the commission to be interviewed with me. The first question, asked by a young lady from the United Press, was addressed to the Soviet delegate, A. E. Bogomolov. He answered with much equanimity, as if he held a press conference every day and liked answering searching questions. Lord Dukeston of the United Kingdom and I had our share of questions, too, and on the whole I thought the press seemed to feel that the interview was a success.
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Shortly after my arrival here, Jonathan Daniels, United States member of the Subcommission on Minorities and Discrimination, which also is meeting here, came to see me. It made me feel nearer home to see him. He said I dismissed him quickly, but it was only because James Hendrick of the State Department felt we should go over certain papers before the meeting of the Human Rights Commission.
Jonathan told me at once how much he wanted to be back home in Raleigh, N.C., and his young cousin, who was with him, said that had been the burden of his conversation ever since two days after his arrival: He prefers writing books to arguing face to face with human beings. However, he has made a good fight for the United States in the subcommission meetings, so the strain is not really too great to bear.
On my arrival I found my hotel suite filled with the loveliest flowers. Among them were some ordered by dear friends back in New York, which were a great surprise and pleasure.