UN Secretary General Trygve Lie

UN Secretary General Trygve Lie - a very full plate - a perpetual juggling act.

July 31, 1947 – A UN With Its Plate Full – Situation In Greece – Situation In Jerusalem – Situation in Jakarta.

UN Secretary General Trygve Lie
UN Secretary General Trygve Lie – a very full plate – a perpetual juggling act.

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July 31, 1947 – While New York City baked in the sticky heat, the scene at the UN meeting in Lake Success was overheating with strife, overthrow and discontent. The United Nations, whose temporary headquarters was at Lake Success, was dealing with a wide range of potentially explosive issues, so the Security Council was in emergency session to figure out what to do.

There was the issue of Greece, knee-deep in Civil War with bloodshed spiraling out of control and the situation in Indonesia, which was the scene of a Dutch attempt to crush in Indonesia, the Indonesian Native Republic’s political and armed strength. The UN was called upon to end the fighting and to arbitrate peaceful solution to the situation. The Dutch had already objected, saying they did not see where the UN needed to intervene. With reference to Greece, the Soviet Union exercised its veto power over the American plan to establish a permanent United Nations border commission to guard Greece’s frontiers. These two events were in danger of putting the United Nations in jeopardy. This made the 11th time the Russians used their veto power over a UN resolution and the American delegation. The general feeling from the US was if this was an indication that the UN was going to stand idly by, permitting the Russian veto on action in Greece to stick, then the UN was, as they put it “a dead duck”. It gave further evidence that the split in relations between the U.S. and Russia was no mere matter of words, but rather a matter of practice. The Russians, of their own volition, refused to take part in any of the economic and Human welfare activities of the UN. Subsequently, this action over Greece overshadowed the situation in Indonesia or other parts of the world in a state of upheaval.

And the situation in Palestine was growing more intense each day. Two British Sergeants who were kidnapped by the Jewish extremist group Irgun Zvi Leumi were found hanging in an orange grove some five miles from the Jewish village of Natanya. The tragic discovery was made more gruesome when a booby trap attached to the bodies exploded after being tripped by British soldiers entering the grove. One solider was wounded and one American photographer was knocked to the ground; his camera destroyed. The group lived up to its pledge to revenge the hanging of two of is members by the British, citing “an eye for an eye – a tooth for a tooth”.

And that’s just a little of what went on, this last day of July, 1947 as reported by Martin Agronsky and ABC Radio News.

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