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Saturday, 17 July 2010

1946 January

January. To be a farmer. United Nations - "We must, we will succeed". First cases before Security Council.  At school, two boilers at last. Nationalization of steel.

Tuesday, Jan 1st
Molly and Ruth arrived and after supper discussed the possibilities of a farm. Ruth very dumb indeed, had not realized how stupid she was.

Wednesday, Jan 2nd
Got Molly alone with difficulty and went for a walk in the afternoon but came to no certain decision. The weather still very cold indeed.

Thursday, Jan 3rd
Molly and Ruth left. A “bitty” day and got very little done.

Friday, Jan 4th
Drove to Watford to see Aunt Alice, 85. Said she wished to be buried in Luton (Kent) where in 1863 grandfather had a brick vault made. Nice job going down there. Aunt had a twin brother who lived a few days. She wished to be buried with him. (Added later. Aunt died in 1958 and Molly had to see her to Luton).

Saturday, Jan 5th
Decided to take a correspondence course in mixed farming at Bath Correspondence College. At any rate a new intellectual interest and find it very stimulating. Went over to a sale of Friesian pedigree stock at Reading on Wednesday and saw a bull sold for 700 guineas. Today much warmer.
Sunday, Jan 6th
J.B. Priestley broadcast again tonight for the first time on Sunday since those fateful days of 1940. He chose as his title The Secret Dream – liberty, equality, fraternity – England, Russia, U.S.A. – and he spoke tonight of the English dream of liberty.

Thursday, Jan 10th
Last night the delegates to the first assembly of the U.N.O. were dined by the King at St James’s Palace – soup, salmon mayonnaise, partridges, ice cream; most came in dinner jackets, some uniforms, one at least in morning dress. The King made an excellent speech. Today the assembled nations met at Central Hall, Westminster; the Belgian Foreign Minister elected chairman. We heard the P.M. speaking on the news tonight. “Today as never before the world is united….. We must, we will succeed.”
              The people here are interested, but there is none of the boundless optimism and belief in the coming of a new world that marked the old League’s birth. We have learnt caution – just as well. But everyone realizes that the choice of ways is before us. We must hope that the conference does not get bogged down in a quarrel between the great and the small nations and that the Russians will decide to play.

Sunday, Jan 13th
 U.N.O. seems to have got away to a good start….. It has avoided delays in selecting the Security Council and the Economic and Social Council. The Russian foreign minister has not turned up yet.
              Hilary went to see Peter Pan on Thursday, postponed from last year because of the rockets. Term starts tomorrow with all the men coming back, the caretaker, and 2 boilers at last.

Sunday, Jan 20th
Term started with a bang, but it did not get far! By Saturday the returned P.O.W. had succumbed to the cold; Miss Hunter’s father had had a stroke in Lyme Regis; one woman’s face had swelled; and the wife of one of the men had a baby in Stockport (Lancs).
              Am well away with my mixed farming course, but find my arithmetic barely adequate to problems of stocking and feeding costs, and my scientific knowledge definitely inadequate for dealing with manure!
              Persia has appealed to the newly formed Security Council against Russian interference in her internal affairs. Will the United Nations function or will the U.S.S.R. refuse to play and the charter prove ineffective from the beginning? We shall soon see. I regret that I am so suspicious of backslides by the Russian government – but I am. Hope I am wrong.

Wednesday, Jan 23rd
A very cold spell indeed, so cold that I noticed that if you handled metal it stuck to your skin. Something I have never felt before. No snow to speak of however.
              The Russians have brought Greece and Indonesia before the Security Council, tit for tat for the Persians. De Gaulle has resigned and French politics are again in a state of eruption.

Sunday, Jan 27th
Went to an excellent film on Friday, Johnny Frenchman, about the relations before and during the war of a Cornish and a Breton fishing village. The star of the picture was a French actress, Françoise Rosay, who came over here and joined the Free French.

Thursday, Jan 31rd
A speech of Churchill’s in secret session in Feb 1942 just published. We outnumbered the Japs in Malaya by 3 to 1 – it must have been Buggins’ turn. Italian divers got into Alexandria Harbour and fixed limpet bombs to our two battleships, Queen Elizabeth and Valiant, so we had no battleships in the Mediterranean and there was nothing (with which) to fight the Japs between San Francisco and Colombo. The Ark Royal had been sunk by a single torpedo. What a list of disasters. To help protect Egypt from a possible amphibious attack we had to send torpedo-carrying aircraft there, hence the Gneisnau and the Scharnhorst were able to sail up the Channel from Brest. Yet Churchill correctly foretold the failure of the Japs to invade Australia and the disaster ahead for the Germans in Russia.
              The Persian complaint against Russia came up at the Security Council yesterday. The Russians wanted the matter left to direct negotiation and dropped, but the Council stood firm with a strong lead from Mr Bevin and the U.S. Sect of State, Mr Stettinius, for reports to the Council on progress. There was some pretty plain speaking from Mr Bevin’s side…
Debate on Bill to nationalize the coal mines in House of Commons.

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