NEW YORK, Tuesday—In the Human Rights Commission meeting yesterday, we had a long argument as to the type of working group which should be set up, between sessions of the commission, to draft an international bill of rights. Having finally decided that the work shall be under the supervision of the chairman, vice-chairman and rapporteur of the commission, who will be assisted by the U.N. Secretariat, we will at last get down to the discussion of what rights shall actually be written into this bill. This discussion must, of course, serve as a guidance to the working group and as a basis for their future report.
The working group may also receive suggestions, either oral or written, from other members of the commission and may ask for any member's advice or suggesions. It can also ask the U.N. Secretary General and the president of the Economic and Social Council for their consent to consultation with any experts who may be needed on certain points which may come up for consideration—legal, religious or social questions, for instance.
As chairman of the commission, I shall be a member of this working group. I am very glad that my responsibility will be shared by two of my colleagues, for I shall be away for a short time next month, I hope. Having made that announcement to the commission, I found myself, at the end of the meeting, the center of a group of excited newspaper people who wanted to know whether I was going to attend the conference in Moscow next month!
Such a supposition had never crossed my mind, as it had never crossed anybody else's, but I realized how easily one could start a rumor. If I hadn't been there to tell the reporters at once that I expected merely to make a few speeches on the West Coast, they might have gone out with the firm conviction that, when our officials started for Moscow, I was going to tag along!
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Miss Katharine Lenroot, head of the U. S. Children's Bureau, went with me last night to the opening of the Council Child Development Center at the Halsey Day Nursery on East 59th Street. We found the building filled when we arrived. I was very glad to meet Dr. Marian Putnam who, I believe, has started the only other such psychiatric child guidance center in the country. The findings here should prove of value all over the country. And I am sure they will help to explain many of the difficulties which we found in connection with some of our young men when they were drafted.
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It was interesting news to read that the AFL, at its meeting in Miami, proposed a joining of hands with the CIO, so that labor could present a united front to Congress, which undoubtedly is going to bring up some suggestions which won't be pleasant for any labor group. One may be pardoned, however, if one is a little skeptical about some of those who are going to do the negotiating for the AFL. I am quite sure Philip Murray, CIO head, will choose shrewd, wide-awake men to represent him and will give them good guidance. It would be sensible if labor could present a united front. However, the gap between the kind of leadership which John L. Lewis represents and that which Philip Murray represents is difficult to bridge!