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Department of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) online

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Strengthening UNESCO's Wori<

In this matter of gaining the understanding and
support of the American and of other peoples in
the needs and purposes of the free world, it is
wholly fitting and necessary that the United
States should do everything in its power to
strengthen Unesco's work. We are in the happy
position of knowing that Unesco's services in
improving international understanding will also
serve to advance the national interests of all mem-
bers of the free community of nations, including
the United States. The aims of the Unesco
Constitution exactly express our aspirations for
the world.

There are additional reasons for our interest in
seeing an expansion in the work of the National
Commission and of Unesco in the fields of cultural
exchange and circulation of information. First,
such exchanges offer one of the most immediate
ways in which the American people can take an
active part in carrying out our foreign policy.
To the extent that the National Commission can
step up such activities, they will broaden this op-
portunity for participation by individual Ameri-
can citizens.

Second, we place a great value on a factual ex-
change with other peoples, and let me stress that
word factual. We want other peoples to get an
undistorted picture of us and we want to get an
undistorted picture of tliem. We are willing to
settle for the kind of factual exchange of infor-
mation that Unesco can provide as an objective,
impartial international body following the prin-
ciples laid down in its constitution.

I repeat, therefore, that the United States has
strong reasons for giving strong support to the

647



broadening of Unesco's work in cultural exchange,
in education, in the exchange of accurate informa-
tion between the free peoples of the world. Nat-
urally, the United States has important work of
this sort to do on its own, and we are doing it.

In fact, we are now preparing major proposals
in this field for submission to the responsible au-
thorities. They will embrace important new steps
for increasing the effectiveness of the Voice of
America, of our international information opera-
tion, and of our educational exchange program.

All that I have just been discussing bears di-
rectly on a very important resolution which Sen-
ator Benton submitted to the Executive Commit-
tee of the National Commission. The Executive
Committee began consideration of this resolution
last November. The purpose of the resolution
was to broaden the use of educational, scientific,
and cultural factors for Unesco's purposes.



Appraisal of U.S. Educational
and Cultural Policies

After 2 months of study, the Executive Com-
mittee again considered this resolution at its meet-
ing in January of this year. There, the Commit-
tee agreed that its interest in the use of the
resources of education, science, and culture for
building better understanding between peoples
went even beyond Unesco's program. The Com-
mittee, therefore, asked that the Department of
State undertake, at the highest level, a comprehen-
sive appraisal of the role of educational, scientific,
and cultural factors in the foreign policy of the
United States and in the conduct of international
relations.

In early March, this resolution was discussed by
George Stoddard and key officials within the De-
partment. All present I'ecognized that this re-
quest on the part of the Executive Committee was
timely and shoukl be productive of a useful result.
The Department has accepted the recommendation
of the Executive Coimnittee that such an appraisal
be made and the Executive Committee will be kept
informed as we progress.

It is evident that, in asking that such an ap-
praisal be made, the Executive Committee had in
mind greater utilization of educational, scientific,
and cultural factors in the conduct of our foreign
relations. I hope one result of such an appraisal
may be to discover additional ways to employ these
factors to build better relations between our own
country and other countries, as well as useful di-
rections in which we can expand present cultural
and informational activities.

UNESCO's Activities in Mass Communications

Without attempting to review the many success-
ful activities which Unesco is conducting, I do
want to mention two which have particularly im-
pressed me.

It seems to me that Unesco's International Book



Coupon Scheme is a very ingenious way of aiding
soft-currency countries to get publications tliey
need from hard-currency countries. It was a
brilliant thought that Unesco could act as a banker
and issue coupons to overcome the existing ob-
stacles of exchange. The fact that $428,000 worth
of these coupons have now been allocated to 16
countries — including $72,000 in gift coupons from
UNESCO's Reconstruction Fund — testifies to the
success of the plan. That success has already jus-
tified the extension of the plan to certain kinds of
scientific equipment and educational films — and
the first shipment of film coupons, I am told, is
already on its way to India.

The other Unesco venture — a most important
one — is its audiovisual agreement w'hich seeks to
reduce the barriers to the free movement of edu-
cational, scientific, and cultural materials. Six-
teen countries have now signed this agreement,
and the United States takes pride in having been
the first signer and in having encouraged other ■
nations to join in support of the agreement. If I
and when 10 governments ratify this convention
by legislative action, the agi-eement will go into
effect among the signatories — and I have little
doubt that it will lead to broader and more signifi-
cant agreements in the future.

With these two programs, Unesco has sought
to break down barriers in the fields in which I
am particulai'ly interested. It also has made con-
tributions of value in the field of educational ex-
change — another of the areas with which my office
is concerned.

Many of the services now being made avail-
able — such as the Unesco World Review and the
Unesco Features — are especially important for
the radio and press in certain parts of the world,
which do not have the facilities available in our
own country. But these services are of vital un-
portance to all nations and should be continued
and expanded.

These developments are to Unesco's credit.
However, they do not alter the fact that Unesco
has made only a beginning in accepting its re-
sponsibility in the fields of mass communications.

Need for Wider UNESCO Program

My deep interest in Unesco, my faith in its
ideals, my conviction that it can play a vital role
in the world today — all these are known. But I
say to you frankly that I do not think Unesco
has thus far measured up to what Director Gen-
eral Torres Bodet called "its noble mission." I
hope the delegations of the free commumty of
nations which will assemble at the Unesco confer-
ence at Florence, will determine that Unesco shall
make this "noble mission" into much more than
a phrase.

To carry out this mission, Unesco must have a
program and a plan of action looking, not only to
the distant peace, but also to the immediate prob-
lems which divide the world and threaten the



648



Department of State Bulletin



rights and freedoms wliicli give meaning to the
Unesco Constitution.

Unfortunately, Unesco cannot reach all the
peoiile of the world. In some countries, the door
IS closed to its message, and its voice is altogether
too weak to reach effectively the masses of the
people. Therefore, its voice must be strengthened.
I hope an important and consti-uctive feature of
the forthcoming general confei-ence will be to
strengthen vei-y greatly the means by which
Unesco transmits its message to the world.

Here in the United States, we are witnessing
the benefits of Unksco's influence. We recognize
the value of the educational activities which the
National Commission is sponsoring here. It is
of both practical and historical importance that
today, in primary and secondary schools, col-
leges and universities, millions of American stu-
dents are studying the United Nations, getting to
know something of international relations and
seriously undertaking the job of understanding
' the traditions and ways of life of other people.
The similar studies being conducted by organiza-
tions, clubs, and community groups are of equal
importance. Out of this education, we are bound
to derive more unity among the American people
in support of policies and programs for the
strengthening of the free world. We can expect
the American people to take a more active interest
and a more active part in our foreign policy.

Public Participation in Foreign Policy

The importance of this public participation is
clear enough when we realize that, in the total
aspect of our diplomacy, the whole United States
is acting before the world as its own representa-
tive. People abroad look at everything we say
and do, in trying to understand us and to antici-
pate our probable attitudes. We need to demon-
strate to the rest of the world, therefore:

That we are miited behind a generous policy
toward others;

That we are in earnest about building inter-
national cooperation;

That we have at home the strong democracy
which we advocate for others.

That we will work, in cooperation with every
nation willing to join in a common eifort, for the
removal of every kind of barrier to the inter-
change of ideas, of persons, of materials, of goods,
and services. Yes, that we genuinely seek full
and free communication and exchange with all
peoples of good will, in whatever pai't of the
world they live.

In this task, the National Commission for
Unesco has a vital part to play — both as it works
with the American people on Unesco's tasks in
this country and as it advises our Government on
Unesco's role in execution of this job.

At the outset of your meeting, we have reviewed
some of the familiar problems. This meeting will
be directed towai'd developing new and useful



ideas for application here at home and, through
Unesco, in all parts of the world.

The work the Conmiission has done during the
past 6 months, particularly thruiigli its working
committees, gives promise that, out of this meet-
ing, will come important new decisions for the
Commission itself, and fresh ideas for making
Unesco's program contribute more effectively to
Unesco's goals.



John B. Blandford, Jr. Assumes
Near East Advisory Commission Post

John B. Blandford, Jr., was sworn in on March

24 as United States representative on the Advisory
Commission of the United Nations Kelief and
Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near
East. His nomination for this position was sub-
mitted by the President to the isenate on March
4. It was confirmed on March IG. The appoint-
ment carries with it the personal rank of Ambas-
sador.

The United Nations Palestine Relief and Works
Agency (Unpra) was established by the General
Assembly of the United Nations in its resolution
of December 8, 1949. The purpose of the organi-
zation is to cai'ry forward relief measures initiated
over a year ago by the United Nations Refugee
Relief Organization and to facilitate the rehabili-
tation of some 700,000 Palestine refugees through
works projects. The formation of this agency was
recommended by the United Nations Economic
Survey Mission, headed by Gordon R. Clapp,
Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Ten-
nessee Valley Authority. This mission made a
study of economic dislocations arising from recent
hostilities in the Near East.

The Unpra Advisory Commission has already
held several informal meetings in New York and
will convene in its first formal session on April 17
at Geneva. Ambassador Blandford expects to de-
part for Geneva in early April, stopping en route
at London and Paris. At Geneva, discussions will
also be held with representatives of the World
Health Organization, the International Refugee
Organization, the Palestine Conciliation Commis-
sion, and other interested parties.

The director of the Unpra program, recently ap-
pointed by United Nations Secretary-General
Trygve Lie, is Maj. Gen. Howard Kennedy of
Canada. He is presently in Washington holding
conversations with Ambassador Blandford and
others interested in the Palestine refugee program.
Countries which have representatives on the Ad-
visory Commission include the United Kingdom,
France, and Turkey as well as the United States.
Legislation authorizing United States' financial

Earticipation in the Unpra program is presently
efore Congress, included in the so-called "omni-
bus" appropriations bill.



April 24, 1950



649



Closing of I liter- American ECOSOC



Remarhs iy Edward G. Miller

Assistant Secretary for Inter- American Aifairs '



This extraordinary session of the Inter- Ameri-
can Economic and Social Council has been, while
not one of the most spectacular certainly one of
the most harmonious conferences ever held with
regard to economic relations of the American
states.

Although we have reached no unexpected nor
surprisingly new decisions, we have achieved what,
in the long run, is more important: We have
learned to know one another and have discussed
our problems frankly and freely ; we have cleared
the atmosphere. In the nature of things, great
decisions are not always to be expected. In fact,
they could not invariably be made at every such
gathering.

It is always important, however, for responsible
leaders in our respective countries to get together,
to become personally acquainted. That kind of
acquaintance leads to confidence and eliminates
suspicion.

The problems with which we deal in lA-Ecosoc
are not of such nature as to lend themselves to
quick and easy solutions ; but they do become more
understandable and more susceptible of solution
when looked at together and considered in com-
mon. Far-reaching decisions that were necessary
with regard to some of these problems had already
been arrived at during previous international con-
ferences. Others are still under consideration.
Wliat is called for now is hard work in the use and
appliance of existing instruments and techniques
oi cooperation. The most efficient application of
these is a pressing necessity.

It is a fact that in our sessions here we have
been unable to come up with a unanimous economic
agreement. But this does not imply, by any
means, that our efforts to this end have been in
vain. In discussions here, as I have said, we have
come to understand one another's problems and



' Made at the Pan American Union at Wasliinjjton on
Apr. 10, 1950, and released to the press on the same date.



difficulties. We may also learn through multi-
lateral consultations of this kind that some types
of problems, particularly in the economic field, can
perhaps best be dealt with bilaterally, according
to the needs and conditions of particular countries.

With regard to one item on our agenda, the
Buenos Aires Economic Conference, commentaries
in the press and elsewhere have reflected a great
deal of confusion on the subject. There has been
some tendency to attribute many of the economic
ills of the hemisphere to the delay in holding that
Conference. There has been a tendency also to
blame the United States because the Conference
has not yet been held. I would like to make my
Government's position perfectly clear. We would
be delighted to attend any conference, anywhere,
anytime, provided only that we knew what we were
going to talk about once we got there. It is basic
to the success of a conference that its substantive
objectives be clear and that there be substantial
agreement as to the desirability of these objectives
as well as a reasonable prospect of attaining them.
It is an incontrovertible fact that the huge, com-
plicated problem of economic development does
not lend itself to solution through the mere hold-
ing of conferences nor the passing of resolutions.

One positive and important accomplishment of
our present session has been the evolution of a
cooperative teclinical assistance program. Per-
haps the greatest achievement in this connec-
tion has been to emphasize the concept that this
is a program of real cooperation in which all
countries can, and many already do, cooperate.

When I was at Cochabamba, Bolivia, last year
I was taken out to see a large dam — represa — that
had been constructed with Mexican technical as-
sistance. At a steel mill in Chile, at Huachipato,
it was likewise inspiring to see a big dock which
has been constructed under the direction of a
Cuban foreman and Peruvian technicians for a
United States company which has its headquarters
in Cuba. There is no reason why such coopera-



650



Deparfment of State Bulletin



tion as this should not be extended. Rather,
there is every reason why it should be. The ex-
panded program to be carried out through the
lA-Ecosoc will be especially significant in ex-
tending technical assistance in the fields of com-
mon interest.

My native island of Puerto Rico has a great
contribution to make along these lines. For the
United States delegation, it has been a special
satisfaction to have our Puerto Rican colleague,
Rafael Pico, as a member of the group. I myself
first met Dr. Pico last year on board a plane. I
was returning from South America, and he was
on his way back from El Salvador where he had
been acting as consultant on a housing project.

This present Conference has amply proved the
wisdom of the Secretary General of the Organiza-
tion of American States in having suggested that
provision be made in the statutes for extraordi-
nary sessions of lA-Ecosoc. Our dele



Online LibraryUnited States. Dept. of State. Office of Public CoDepartment of State bulletin (Volume v. 22, Apr- Jun 1950) → online text (page 29 of 116)