FEBRUARY 26, 1953
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was called on the telephone today and was asked if I would be at the opening of the United Nations General Assembly. The caller did not seem to realize that even had I been reappointed to the delegation there would be nothing for me to do at this General Assembly, since the work of my committee came to an end before the end of the last session.
There is an article about the U.N. in the current Look magazine, and the photograph on the title page—taken during that moment of silence at the opening of the meeting—is one which I have so much difficulty in explaining to American citizens that it really is the equivalent of prayer. The assembly of men and women standing in this photograph represents many religions. Many of these religions have strict rules and customs that must be followed, but all of them, like most of us who are Christians and Jews, can stand for a minute of silent prayer or meditation.
The article in the magazine is the result of an inquiry among the permanent representatives or other senior delegates in the U.N., and I think it is an article that all the people of the U.S. should read. There are attacks made against the U.N. here, and it seems to me that these answers by the representatives of 33 nations are worthy of our consideration.
Five basic questions were put to them, and the first one was unanimously answered. All of them rejected the idea of abandoning the U.N. Twenty-four of them said the decision to resist aggression in Korea was one of the greatest steps the U.N. has taken to strengthen peace. And, in answer to another question, the majority among them felt that peace was closer today than it was when the U.N. was founded.
They were divided as to the greatest danger to peace today and as to what to do about it. But, again, in every case they agreed that the U.N. is the first and best instrument we have to work with.
Different parts of the world were covered by the representatives who were questioned, and I think one can well say that a very good job was done by the interviewers in getting such a good cross-section of answers to their questions. I think this will prove a very enlightening article as to the thoughts of other members of the U.N. besides ourselves.
It can be rather confusing to read that a British general says we must face facts and realize that we are in World War III while our own General Omar Bradley warns us that this is tricky and fallacious reasoning and "the most dangerous idea."
I think I agree with General Bradley in spite of the fact that Korea has been hard to bear and that the losses have been great. It still remains a war in Korea, yet not a war that engulfs the whole world. World War III would involve the world over and there would be no part of it where one could live in peace and security.