The rest of the color was provided by the women—not by Mrs. Roosevelt, who wore black, hut by Mme. Vijaya Lakasmi Pandit, the handsome, clear-eyed leader of the Indian delegation, who wore a long succession of floor-length saris, pearl and grey and mauve, with incredible poise, and gave no hint that she had once spent three terms in British jails. There was an air of crowded confusion about the U. Things were jovial on the assembly hall floor. Close to photographers threaded their way between the tables.
Twenty-four of them sat on their haunches, shoulder to shoulder in front of the U.
They all wore blood-red identification ribbons in their lapels. A good many cameramen were reported to have complained about the choice of red, which they felt might have some sinister political significance and the New York Times went as far as to report that the only really happy man to receive his ribbon was it late-comer from the Daily Worker.
Political, Economic, and Military Division of Europe
Audrey Langston, the English girl whose job it is to make things easier for photographers, looks perpetually harassed. Oh, I watch that man like a hawk. Everyone on opening day was waiting for George Marshall to have his say. It is difficult to see why there should have been an air of expectancy about the Marshall speech. The week before the Assembly opened the U. The day before delegates and press were all given advanced mimeographed copies of the speech, so that by the time Marshall walked to the rostrum everyone concerned knew exactly what he would say and how he would say it.
Marshall looks smaller and greyer than his pictures and his publicity indicate. As he read you could hear the rustle of a thousand mimeographed pages turning in unison. He was talking solely for the newsreels, it seemed. When the speech was over the clapping war between the Eastern and Western blocs began. The Western bloc clapped, the Slav bloc remained silent. This refusal to applaud, by one or other of the two main groups into which the General Assembly is split, was a feature of the entire session. It was embarrassing to read the accounts of the Marshall speech that evening in the New York press.
The impression given was that the speech had come as a bolt from the blue. Actually the visible reaction was nil. The Russians sat stolidly and unshaken in their seats as they always do and the rest of the Assembly applauded politely a speech which almost everyone had read the night before. It was a highly undramatic performance.
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The Vishinsky speech offered a complete contrast. Vishinsky was as bombastic as Marshall was colorless and the English interpretation followed every shade of his oratory, biting at the words with such force and venom that many listeners thought the interpreter was a Soviet sympathizer. Actually he was a former Pole named George Sherry, whose sympathies if anything lie on the other side of the political fence. They take a stiff three-month course, must speak three languages idiomatically perfect without accent, think fast and furiously, talk like an orator, read up on the U.
There are 48 interpreters, 11 of them women. When Vishinsky was through there was such a general exodus from the assembly hall that the next speaker had difficulty elbowing his way to the rostrum. I am able to report that they ordered beer and Scotch and soda. Laurent, is the result of exhaustive work and the product of many hands. It: was written first by advisers to the delegation, discussed and worked over at meeting after meeting, draughted four or five times, scrapped twice and completely rewritten and edited in its final form by the Minister himself.
Old-time U. McNeil was at his best when he departed from his page text. These three speeches formed the core of the general debate. The remainder of the 38 speeches given during the five days of the debate were to a large degree so much padding. Most of them followed an easily definable pattern.
(November 26, 1947)
After this preamble followed the national and sectional peeves. While the delegates spoke, people wandered in and out of the assembly or press gallery, read official papers, chatted among themselves or perhaps followed the text of the speech as it was being read. Most of the real work in those early days was handled by the man steering committee composed of the president of the assembly, the seven vice-presidents, and the presidents of the six committees.
Aranha, a chain smoker, broke the No Smoking rule there. The delegates sat down at a semicircular table in the presence of about 50 newspapermen to thresh out the agenda items which would follow the opening debate, items which included the controversial Palestine, Greek and Korean questions. There is no simultaneous interpretation equipment in this committee room, so after the Russian was finished an interpreter, who had been writing down notes and key words, repeated the entire speech in French, then another gave it in English. While the French was going on there was a steadily rising hum of conversation which the President attempted, in vain, to quell with his gavel.
During the English translation Gromyko frequently stopped the interpreter and corrected him in English. Gromyko, because of the secrecy which surrounds him, is one of the most-talked-about men at the U. Usually interviews with Gromyko go something like this:. Reporter padding up alongside Gromyko : Mr. Gromyko, what did you think of Mrs. At the end of the general debate and the adoption of the agenda items recommended by the steering committee, the general assembly divided itself into eight member committees and moved out to the committee rooms at Lake Success ten miles away.
Until the new U. Flushing is used strictly for the full-dress meetings of the general assembly where debates on the committee proposals take place. Lake Success, besides supplying the committee rooms, is a year-round proposition because the security council meets here. It is a vast sprawling building with a maddening interior which resembles an old-fashioned maze.
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The committees themselves—of which the political committee is considered the most spectacular and the most newsworthy—sit down at huge oval-shaped tables of bleached mahogany in rooms which look like radio studios and have accommodation for about onlookers and an equal number of newspapermen.
It takes close to 3, people, working behind the scenes, to maintain the U. Employees come from 51 different nations and get along fine with each other. The workers keep their own citizenship and get a special U.
A good many of them marry each other—a French translator had just married an English girl interpreter when I arrived. Most of U. The staff committee, sensing a racial bar, sent a strongly worded condemnation to the secretariat, pointing out that this violated the charter and urging that all staff members boycott the project. Unfortunately, One World still being a limited concept, and the housing situation being what it is, the companies have remained intractable and tenants are beginning to trickle in.
Nationalism, that bugaboo of all One Worlders, is still a touchy business at Flushing. Take the business of the flags, for example. There were originally 52 of these flags arranged in a circle in front of the U. The flags that formed this new U. Then at the first assembly three more nations entered U.
A compromise was finally reached: the extra flagpoles—there are five now—are lined up in the centre and every day all the flags are hauled down and each flag rotated to the next pole, moving counterclockwise around the circle day by day and ending up in the centre. The flags are frequently replaced. If a flag fades even slightly, an outraged delegate is sure to protest that his national emblem is not the true color.
Now the U. The cost of running the U. There are 70 members of the Canadian delegation and staff, who occupy the entire ninth floor of the Biltmore Hotel. Besides the offices there is also a lounge equipped with a Gauguin print and a bottle of Tom Collins mix , an information room furnished with all Canadian newspapers plus a mimeographed daily summary of Canadian news, and a conference room where plans are hatched and new members briefed.
Some other delegations are spread over two or more hotels. The Russians occupy an expansive Long Island estate not far from Lake success. Most of the men who represent their nations at the U. The plenary sessions or committee meetings can go on as late as 2 a. Laurent, who can be considered a fairly typical delegate, spent this sort of a day on Monday, Sept.
He rose at 7. Sharp at nine he strode across the hall into the conference room and talked policy for an hour with his shirt-sleeved associates. He looked in briefly at the press conference in progress next door, then climbed into one of the eight cars at the disposal of the delegation and went into a huddle with two advisers during the minute ride to Flushing.
Brief case in arm he took his seat in the assembly next to the Byelo-Russian delegation when the plenary session opened at 11 a. He listened to all the speeches, making marginal notes on his advance copies and conferring in whispers with his associates, but he missed the Turkey speech because of a long-distance call from Ottawa.
Laurent lunched at one in the U. After lunch, Mr. John the Divine, then hurried back to Flushing in time for the Yugoslav speech. He seized some dinner at the Oyster Bar in Grand Central station across the street, then returned to more papers—mainly statements which fellow delegates proposed to make at committees to which they were attached. No sooner was this done than the minister headed for Essex House where the United Kingdom was holding a reception for senior delegates.
This over, Mr. Laurent returned, glanced wearily at more papers and went to bed. There is so much attention paid to the press at U. Advance copies of most major speeches are available, verbatim reports and condensed reports are run off continually while the assembly is still sitting and television receivers picture the entire performance in the press bar.
The Canadians held a press conference every morning at 9.
Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto's farewell speech to the United Nations Security Council
Other delegations held similar conferences for their own newspapermen or anyone else who cared to attend. These shadowy figures, familiar to every newspaper reader, turn out to be living, breathing men of flesh and blood who conduct the press conferences, tell all, but refuse to he quoted by name.
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We all know the frightful disturbances in which the ordinary family is plunged when the curse of war swoops down upon the bread-winner and those for whom he works and contrives. The awful ruin of Europe, with all its vanished glories, and of large parts of Asia glares us in the eyes. When the designs of wicked men or the aggressive urge of mighty States dissolve over large areas the frame of civilised society, humble folk are confronted with difficulties with which they cannot cope.
For them all is distorted, all is broken, even ground to pulp. When I stand here this quiet afternoon I shudder to visualise what is actually happening to millions now and what is going to happen in this period when famine stalks the earth. We are all agreed on that. Here again there is widespread agreement. A world organisation has already been erected for the prime purpose of preventing war, UNO, the successor of the League of Nations, with the decisive addition of the United States and all that that means, is already at work.
We must make sure that its work is fruitful, that it is a reality and not a sham, that it is a force for action, and not merely a frothing of words, that it is a true temple of peace in which the shields of many nations can some day be hung up, and not merely a cockpit in a Tower of Babel. Before we cast away the solid assurances of national armaments for self-preservation we must be certain that our temple is built, not upon shifting sands or quagmires, but upon the rock.
Anyone can see with his eyes open that our path will be difficult and also long, but if we persevere together as we did in the two world wars-though not, alas, in the interval between them-I cannot doubt that we shall achieve our common purpose in the end.
I have, however, a definite and practical proposal to make for action. Courts and magistrates may be set up but they cannot function without sheriffs and constables. The United Nations Organisation must immediately begin to be equipped with an international armed force. In such a matter we can only go step by step, but we must begin now. I propose that each of the Powers and States should be invited to delegate a certain number of air squadrons to the service of the world organisation.
These squadrons would be trained and prepared in their own countries, but would move around in rotation from one country to another. They would wear the uniform of their own countries but with different badges. They would not be required to act against their own nation, but in other respects they would be directed by the world organisation. This might be started on a modest scale and would grow as confidence grew.
I wished to see this done after the First World War, and I devoutly trust it may be done forthwith. It would nevertheless be wrong and imprudent to entrust the secret knowledge or experience of the atomic bomb, which the United States, Great Britain, and Canada now share, to the world organisation, while it is still in its infancy. It would be criminal madness to cast it adrift in this still agitated and un-united world. No one in any country has slept less well in their beds because this knowledge and the method and the raw materials to apply it, are at present largely retained in American hands.
I do not believe we should all have slept so soundly had the positions been reversed and if some Communist or neo-Fascist State monopolised for the time being these dread agencies. The fear of them alone might easily have been used to enforce totalitarian systems upon the free democratic world, with consequences appalling to human imagination. God has willed that this shall not be and we have at least a breathing space to set our house in order before this peril has to be encountered: and even then, if no effort is spared, we should still possess So formidable a superiority as to impose effective deterrents upon its employment, or threat of employment, by others.
Ultimately, when the essential brotherhood of man is truly embodied and expressed in a world organisation with all the necessary practical safeguards to make it effective, these powers would naturally be confided to that world organisation. Now I come to the second danger of these two marauders which threatens the cottage, the home, and the ordinary people-namely, tyranny. We cannot be blind to the fact that the liberties enjoyed by individual citizens throughout the British Empire are not valid in a considerable number of countries, some of which are very powerful. In these States control is enforced upon the common people by various kinds of all-embracing police governments.
The power of the State is exercised without restraint, either by dictators or by compact oligarchies operating through a privileged party and a political police. It is not our duty at this time when difficulties are so numerous to interfere forcibly in the internal affairs of countries which we have not conquered in war. But we must never cease to proclaim in fearless tones the great principles of freedom and the rights of man which are the joint inheritance of the English-speaking world and which through Magna Carta, the Bill of Rights, the Habeas Corpus, trial by jury, and the English common law find their most famous expression in the American Declaration of Independence.
All this means that the people of any country have the right, and should have the power by constitutional action, by free unfettered elections, with secret ballot, to choose or change the character or form of government under which they dwell; that freedom of speech and thought should reign; that courts of justice, independent of the executive, unbiased by any party, should administer laws which have received the broad assent of large majorities or are consecrated by time and custom. Here are the title deeds of freedom which should lie in every cottage home. Here is the message of the British and American peoples to mankind.
Let us preach what we practise — let us practise what we preach. I have now stated the two great dangers which menace the homes of the people: War and Tyranny. I have not yet spoken of poverty and privation which are in many cases the prevailing anxiety. But if the dangers of war and tyranny are removed, there is no doubt that science and co-operation can bring in the next few years to the world, certainly in the next few decades newly taught in the sharpening school of war, an expansion of material well-being beyond anything that has yet occurred in human experience.
Now, at this sad and breathless moment, we are plunged in the hunger and distress which are the aftermath of our stupendous struggle; but this will pass and may pass quickly, and there is no reason except human folly or sub-human crime which should deny to all the nations the inauguration and enjoyment of an age of plenty. I have often used words which I learned fifty years ago from a great Irish-American orator, a friend of mine, Mr. Bourke Cockran.
The earth is a generous mother; she will provide in plentiful abundance food for all her children if they will but cultivate her soil in justice and in peace. Now, while still pursuing the method of realising our overall strategic concept, I come to the crux of what I have travelled here to Say. Neither the sure prevention of war, nor the continuous rise of world organisation will be gained without what I have called the fraternal association of the English-speaking peoples. This is no time for generalities, and I will venture to be precise.
Fraternal association requires not only the growing friendship and mutual understanding between our two vast but kindred Systems of society, but the continuance of the intimate relationship between our military advisers, leading to common study of potential dangers, the similarity of weapons and manuals of instructions, and to the interchange of officers and cadets at technical colleges.
It should carry with it the continuance of the present facilities for mutual security by the joint use of all Naval and Air Force bases in the possession of either country all over the world. This would perhaps double the mobility of the American Navy and Air Force. It would greatly expand that of the British Empire Forces and it might well lead, if and as the world calms down, to important financial savings. Already we use together a large number of islands; more may well be entrusted to our joint care in the near future.
This Agreement is more effective than many of those which have often been made under formal alliances. This principle should be extended to all British Commonwealths with full reciprocity. Thus, whatever happens, and thus only, shall we be secure ourselves and able to work together for the high and simple causes that are dear to us and bode no ill to any. Eventually there may come-I feel eventually there will come-the principle of common citizenship, but that we may be content to leave to destiny, whose outstretched arm many of us can already clearly see.
There is however an important question we must ask ourselves. Would a special relationship between the United States and the British Commonwealth be inconsistent with our over-riding loyalties to the World Organisation? I reply that, on the contrary, it is probably the only means by which that organisation will achieve its full stature and strength. There are already the special United States relations with Canada which I have just mentioned, and there are the special relations between the United States and the South American Republics. I agree with Mr.
Bevin, the Foreign Secretary of Great Britain, that it might well be a fifty years Treaty so far as we are concerned. We aim at nothing but mutual assistance and collaboration. The British have an alliance with Portugal unbroken since , and which produced fruitful results at critical moments in the late war.
None of these clash with the general interest of a world agreement, or a world organisation; on the contrary they help it. I spoke earlier of the Temple of Peace. Workmen from all countries must build that temple. Indeed they must do so or else the temple may not be built, or, being built, it may collapse, and we shall all be proved again unteachable and have to go and try to learn again for a third time in a school of war, incomparably more rigorous than that from which we have just been released. The dark ages may return, the Stone Age may return on the gleaming wings of science, and what might now shower immeasurable material blessings upon mankind, may even bring about its total destruction.
Beware, I say; time may be short. Do not let us take the course of allowing events to drift along until it is too late. If there is to be a fraternal association of the kind I have described, with all the extra strength and security which both our countries can derive from it, let us make sure that that great fact is known to the world, and that it plays its part in steadying and stabilising the foundations of peace.
There is the path of wisdom. Prevention is better than cure. A shadow has fallen upon the scenes so lately lighted by the Allied victory. Nobody knows what Soviet Russia and its Communist international organisation intends to do in the immediate future, or what are the limits, if any, to their expansive and proselytising tendencies.
Voices of the Postwar Era, | National Archives
I have a strong admiration and regard for the valiant Russian people and for my wartime comrade, Marshal Stalin. There is deep sympathy and goodwill in Britain-and I doubt not here also-towards the peoples of all the Russias and a resolve to persevere through many differences and rebuffs in establishing lasting friendships. We understand the Russian need to be secure on her western frontiers by the removal of all possibility of German aggression. We welcome Russia to her rightful place among the leading nations of the world. We welcome her flag upon the seas. Above all, we welcome constant, frequent and growing contacts between the Russian people and our own people on both sides of the Atlantic.
It is my duty however, for I am sure you would wish me to state the facts as I see them to you, to place before you certain facts about the present position in Europe. From Stettin in the Baltic to Trieste in the Adriatic, an iron curtain has descended across the Continent.
Behind that line lie all the capitals of the ancient states of Central and Eastern Europe. Warsaw, Berlin, Prague, Vienna, Budapest, Belgrade, Bucharest and Sofia, all these famous cities and the populations around them lie in what I must call the Soviet sphere, and all are subject in one form or another, not only to Soviet influence but to a very high and, in many cases, increasing measure of control from Moscow.
Athens alone-Greece with its immortal glories-is free to decide its future at an election under British, American and French observation. The Russian-dominated Polish Government has been encouraged to make enormous and wrongful inroads upon Germany, and mass expulsions of millions of Germans on a scale grievous and undreamed-of are now taking place. The Communist parties, which were very small in all these Eastern States of Europe, have been raised to pre-eminence and power far beyond their numbers and are seeking everywhere to obtain totalitarian control.
Police governments are prevailing in nearly every case, and so far, except in Czechoslovakia, there is no true democracy.