NOVEMBER 12, 1949
NEW YORK, Friday—I spent a very pleasant evening at the Women's International Exposition of Arts and Industries in the 71st Regiment Armory the other night. There are booths of many kinds, but the most interesting ones to me were those that exhibited the work of foreign countries, displaying beautiful embroideries and handwork of all kinds. India and Pakistan had lovely silver work and carving. There also was work done by refugees, by veterans in the hospitals and by many organizations.
I was impressed by the program put on by the American Council of Voluntary Agencies for Foreign Service, Inc., who are helping to settle displaced persons in this country. Professor Joseph P. Chamberlain, chairman of the council, presided. The Welfare Department chorus sang charmingly and Reuben Varga, a young violinist who recently graduated from Juilliard School and already is beginning to make his mark, played several violin selections with piano accompaniment.
Mr. Varga told me of his desire to stay in this country, though he had come as a student on a Palestinian passport. One could not help but sympathize with him, for he was blinded by the Nazis and, in spite of that handicap, he has made a name for himself. But there is nothing I can do unless the law will permit him to remain!
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Our meeting was at Lake Success on Thursday morning and I arrived somewhat late at the lunch given by the Youth Consultation Service. The Rt. Rev. Bishop Charles K. Gilbert opened the after-luncheon speeches with a very short explanation of the work and a reminder that the Episcopalians did not give any too open-handedly to their church charities. This particular service seems most appealing, since it offers advice and guidance to younger women who come to New York City, often from small places, and who find themselves very lonely, beset by temptations and with no friends or family to whom they can turn.
It was explained that the service functions with an interracial staff and board, and that they give their advice free, regardless of race, creed or color. This is a wise stand for a church group to take. I hope that we Episcopalians will make it possible for some of the groups that are affiliated with the church to function more adequately because of the support given by the church itself.
In the evening I was honored by having General and Mrs. Carlos Romulo, Secretary General and Mrs. Trygve Lie, General and Mrs. Walter Bedell Smith, Mr. Henri Laugier and my cousin, Mrs. Kermit Roosevelt, at dinner at my small apartment. After dinner Reuben Varga played three selections and we also heard a record composed by Celius Daugherty and sung by Madame Bidu Sayao. It was based on letters written by schoolchildren to Ambassador Warren Austin, and it voiced their desire for peace.
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In Committee 3 we still deal with the refugee question and I must say that I hope we will find a good, final solution to this question by the early part of next week.