APRIL 23, 1951
GENEVA, Sunday—On the very first day of the opening session here I was surprised and pleased to see my friend, Mrs. William Barclay Parsons, and her daughter, and that evening Miss Thompson and I went to dinner with them at a most delightful restaurant down by the lake, called the Perle du Lac. Two of the girls spending their junior year here with the Smith College group joined us for coffee after dinner. It was a nice little breath of the United States and I was glad to hear something about the meeting of the International Council of Women in Athens. Two hundred women met there from 23 countries. Since there are only 31 councils in the world, I think they should be congratulated on their attendance. Incidentally, the question of the right of women to vote was up before the Greek Parliament during their meeting and passed successfully. I wonder whether the knowledge that 200 women were watching their actions made the Parliament more conscious of the interest all over the world in the right of women to participate in their government.
On Tuesday afternoon Dr. Malik, admonishing the commission members to work, gave them the afternoon in which to meet informally and see whether they could arrive at any point of agreement. The USSR and Yugoslavia having already put in detailed plans, we felt that we should try to get together with those who as yet had nothing actually formulated before us. We talked from three to six o'clock, and while everybody expressed a point of view there was very little agreement.
I left my advisers to meet again in the evening with whoever might choose to do so in order to see if they could draft anything which would help us to a more concrete discussion tomorrow. The one point brought out very clearly was a remark made by the Chinese delegate that there were really two questions to be considered and then settled by vote. First—could we comply with the request of the Economic and Social Council to include in the first covenant the economic, social and cultural articles in any but a general way if our session was to last five weeks? Second—if the decision was to be in favor of detailed articles, were we not obliged to tell the Council they could not be framed in such a short time and that to comply would require a long period of work?
I never quite get accustomed to the telephone on the Continent. Luxembourg is not very far away, and Mrs. Mesta called me the other afternoon asking if I could not come to her for a weekend. I spent 15 minutes in a booth before I actually got Mrs. Mesta on the telephone. Mrs. Mesta, unfortunately, goes to the United States around the middle of May and I will not be able to go to Luxembourg. But I hope I will see her at Hyde Park before she leaves the United States again.
It is not quite warm enough to enjoy eating out on the terraces as yet, but I am looking forward to a day before long when I shall see people enjoying their tea or their dinner sitting on the balconies or even along the terraces close to the sidewalk. Everywhere the formal flower beds are laid out in little squares and diamonds of yellow and purple flowers. You wonder that some of them don't get out of place, but Swiss orderliness seems to govern even the flowers.