SEPTEMBER 24, 1954
NEW YORK, Thursday—About 10 o'clock on Tuesday morning I went down to the armory where the Democratic State Convention was going on. I slipped in through a back door to a room behind the platform where Franklin and Sue and some of their friends were watching developments. It had, of course, been sure ever since the city bosses had announced their intentions that only by a stampede could anyone but Mr. Averell Harriman be nominated. However, a fight is always interesting to watch.
Sometimes even a losing fight has more satisfaction in it than meets the eye. In this case Franklin had decided to fight and his supporters, though less numerous than the city representatives plus some of the up-state counties, were nevertheless enthusiastic.
I was proud of the fight and proud of the way defeat was accepted. I felt that, as frequently happens, if fate is met with a smile one may gain more in strength and wisdom from defeat than from victory. Franklin has urged the Democrats to close their ranks and work for Averell Harriman, the party's nominee for governor. I am sure they will do so, and I extend my good wishes to Mr. Harriman.
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Tuesday afternoon I attended the opening session of the United Nations. Unfortunately I could not stay to the end but I was very much interested in watching the tactics of some delegates. Politics on an international scale was obvious in the way the argument was handled for the seating of the Communist Chinese. The Indian delegate waited to make a motion ruling out any motions, which if he had made it at all should have been made immediately after the first motion made by the Soviet Union. He evidently wanted to get an idea of how the situation was developing in the Assembly. India's position is certainly a difficult one but the delegation leader's maneuver yesterday, while understandable, may not have been too wise.
Prince Wan, of Thailand, having withdrawn, Ambassador Eelco N. Van Kleffens, of the Netherlands, was elected as president for the coming year. This will be the first time that Europe has held the presidency since Belgium's Mr. Paul Henri Spaak held it in the early days. Everyone who knows Dr. Van Kleffens knows of his long and distinguished diplomatic experience, and recognizes his ability and integrity. I feel sure that he will give the Assembly impartial and objective leadership. This is a critical time for the U.N., and every nation that believes we can gain from working together in an effort to keep peace in the world must give their wholehearted support to the organization.