ORSON WELLES’ ALMANAC: On Progress Towards the Formation of The United Nations
In Welles's second column, he follows up his quote of President Woodrow Wilson's call for peace, by reporting on the current progress of the Dumbarton Oaks proposals. These proposals refer to the name of the mansion in the Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. where representatives from China, the Soviet Union, the United States and the UK met, in the fall of 1944, to hammer out the outline for proposals for the establishment of a General International Organization that eventually would become known as The United Nations.
ORSON WELLES' ALMANAC
By Orson Welles - January 23, 1945
January 23 is the feast of St. Ildephonsus and a good day for fishing. It is also a good day to ask your minister to prepare a sermon of the following text:
And the Lord said unto Cain, Where is Abel thy brother? And he said, I know not: Am I my brother’s keeper? And He said, what hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood crieth unto me from the ground.
An almanac is supposed to provide a number of services, including a certain amount of news. Okay—
NEWS DEPARTMENT: When the Dumbarton Oaks proposal comes up for consideration by Congress, the House Foreign Affairs Committee, logically the proper channel, will be by passed. It will go instead through the Banking and Currency Committee.
How are the Dumbarton Oaks proposals faring elsewhere? In England, Winston Churchill is keeping final decisions jealously to himself. His advisers on the subject are Anthony Eden, Richard K. Law and Sir Alexander Cadogan. Churchill is giving no specific information to the war cabinet at present, and it remains a one-man show.
In Russia, the Dumbarton Oaks proposals are being examined by a special committee of the Political Bureau, the highest and most effective institution in the Soviet Union. Stalin relies on Molotov, Schwernik and Vichinsky. It is also rumored that Litvinov has influential but unofficial voice in the discussions.
In France leonine-headed old Paul Boncour, former premier presides over a special committee comprising the best juridical brains of France.
In China it is T. V. Soong who is again brain truster number one in the Gissimo. His right hand is Wellington Koo, the Chinese ambassador in London.
Set Goose Eggs Today.
Our staff astrologer announces (and is willing to bet ten to one on it) that the President’s activities in foreign relations are accentuated and that the stars indicate an important agreement with our Allies at the Big Three meeting.
The President will take his usual crew to the next meeting of the Big Three but most of them are just going for the ride. Over twenty of these experts went to Teheran. Churchill’s staff was even larger. Stalin showed up with Molotov and an interpreter. At various points in the conversation, Churchill and Roosevelt would say, “Well—we’ll have to consult our experts.” By the middle of the second day, Stalin spoke plaintively, but also firmly, “Can’t we three decide anything?” After that they did.
Incidentally, when the President goes on an important trip, a large number of relatively high officials always happen to leave Washington at the same time. This makes it possible for their secretaries to say in mysterious tones, “oh, Mr. So-and-So is out of town.”
MORAL: In our capitol, when anybody keeps a secret you can be pretty sure there isn’t anything to hide.
In France the people are calling for a new, more candid diplomacy. That they are getting it is reflected in the demand “that conferences of three shall cease.” This forthright pronouncement by the French Foreign Minister appears in next month’s issue of Free World Magazine. It means that whether he’s received it or not, General DeGaulle expects an invitation to the next meeting of the great powers.
JAPANESE INVENTIONS DEPARTMENT: According to the Tokyo newspaper, “Asahi,” the Japanese should not be concerned much longer about the B-29 raids. It seems that certain chemicals are to be spread in the air to guard against the giant bombers. These chemicals, says Asahi, will form a compound with gasoline, turning it into a sticky substance that will stall the B-29 engines.
The sting of a bee does not make a muskmelon sweet.