DECEMBER 22, 1949
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was in Washington on Monday and Tuesday of this week and somehow Monday seemed quite a busy day. I had planned to fly down, but because of the early morning fog, I had to hurriedly switch to the 8:30 a.m. train so as not to miss my luncheon engagement at the Washington section of the Society of American Foresters. This is a national organization that was founded by Gifford Pinchot.
This was the meeting at which women were admitted, and I went directly from the train to the YWCA to find the familiar dining room filled to capacity. Appropriately enough, the gavel the foresters use is a rolling pin. The decorations were largely prizes that were drawn for by the guests who had received numbers as they got their luncheon tickets.
A. M. Sowder who heads the county agents of the country for the society, had been at Hyde Park some weeks ago. After seeing the library and the big house, he inspected the Christmas trees which my son, Elliott, grows, and he bought four of them to take back to Washington with him. One of these he donated as a prize. The other trees, the wreaths and the holly in the hall came from nearby Maryland. To my joy I was presented with a full basket of holly. This is one of the things we don't grow at Hyde Park, so I am looking forward to its arrival and to decorating my house.
Naturally, at a forestry association meeting the subject under discussion would be conservation and I was glad to find sitting next to me the Frenchman from the Food and Agriculture agency of the United Nations. He is in charge of their world forestry program. It gave me quite a thrill to realize that things which we used to think of entirely on a national scale are now almost impossible to talk about except on an international scale. The world is becoming more closely tied together and that gives us, I think, greater hopes for our future nationally as well as internationally.
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I spent two hours in the State Department during the afternoon going over the United States suggestions for the Covenant of Human Rights. Later I had a delightful dinner with General and Mrs. Harold R. Bull of the National War College, and spoke for them in the evening on the "United States in the United Nations."
I had forgotten until I went into the building where the meeting was held that McKim, Mead and White had designed the main building and many of the houses and that the establishment of the War College was largely due to Elihu Root's interest. The present course, which is attended by officers from the various services, none of whom is below the rank of colonel and captain, a few people from the State Department and one or two intelligence people from other departments, is a very stiff course in international affairs. It must be of great value to these men who are going to have to deal in the ordinary course of their work with people in many lands. They will find themselves in situations where a background and knowledge of history, as well as of their own country's past positions, will be invaluable. They were certainly a stimulating group to be with and I enjoyed meeting them after the lecture.