OCTOBER 30, 1947
NEW YORK, Wednesday—It is amusing to see that, just as we in this country begin to talk about how we are to control soaring prices, ex-Prime Minister Churchill of England demands that the British Labor Government follow our lead in removing price controls. He goes on to say that they should stop socialistic planning and nationalization of basic industries.
He points at the United States to show how successful it has been in removing all controls, and says "the sovereign remedy for our (Britain's) present ills and darkening misfortunes is to set the people free." Meanwhile here we are, having set ourselves free some time back, wondering how on earth we can again control ourselves sufficiently so that our wages can keep some kind of balance with our prices!
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Since the appeals to eat less have gone out, I have had a number of letters telling me in no uncertain terms that people are eating less simply because they cannot afford to buy as much as they bought in the past.
Of course, we waste in this country, those of us who have enough to waste; of course, we have never learned to be as thrifty as the French peasant; of course, in our population there are different groups with eating habits which they or their forebears brought from overseas and which it is difficult for them to give up. For instance, if times are hard, an Italian family here will have just a big platter of spaghetti and, if you tell them that spaghetti is something which at present we should not eat, they will not know where to turn for a substitute! There are any number of angles to the food question just as there are to a great many other questions!
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Yesterday in Committee No. 3 of the General Assembly, we spent the whole day listening to speeches that had to do with the evils of slander and misrepresentation in the press. I hope that today we may take a vote on this matter and support a resolution which recommends that the various governments study what methods can be used within their constitutional limitations to prevent these two highly undesirable things.
Furthermore the resolution provides that their findings go to the Freedom of Information Conference to be discussed. I think it is quite proper for member governments to make studies, but I feel that the real research and decisions as to what can and should be done must remain in the hands of the qualified experts who will be gathered together when that conference meets.
The report from our subcommittee on trade-union rights has been made, but two amendments have been brought in for discussion in the full committee. I think we still have a good deal of work before us, though it seemed in the early days that we would be finished before many of the other committees.
All of the foreign delegates, as one of them put it in a speech the other day, "appreciate the hospitality extended to them in New York City but they really prefer not to spend the rest of their lives here." When delegates begin to talk like that, you know it is time for the General Assembly to wind up its work, and I hope we will do so in the next couple of weeks.