United Nations Meeting

Published: 1960
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Fidel Castro throws out the first pitch to open a new season of baseball in Havana, Cuba in this April 1960 file photo. (UPI Photo/FILE)

Announcer: 1960 will surely go down in history as a year of newly emerging nations. And in older, more established countries, the rings of government also changed hands quickly without bloodshed. Thankfully over 8,000 miles of telephone wire came with this report.

Unknown Speaker: "Today May 27 has been turning point in Turkish history. The Turkish army took over the administration state without shedding a single drop of blood. They started over at about 2:30 AM on May 27 and in less than four hours they had controlled the whole country. I asked them to take me to the main headquarters in..."

Announcer: The actual words were difficult to make out, but their significance was not. In this first voiced report to come out of Turkey following the army takeover of the government, the feeling was that of rebirth.

In a new nation independence day Léopoldville, Republic of the Congo, June 30, 1960.

Unknown Speaker: "Jubilant Congolese gathered to witness the proclamation of independence this morning at 11 o'clock. Cold water was thrown over the proceedings in the speech of Patrice Lumumba, Prime Minister of the new Congolese State."

"It will not be essentially democratic. The signs are that Lumumba will as Minister of Defense probably was on a heavy heel. The Russians have invested some $2.5 million for a large embassy here. And they have a vast number of representatives active in the area through the satellite groups especially the Czechs."

Announcer: The affairs were realized all too soon. Civil War broke out and refugees reaching safety told of shameful acts. From one missionary.

Unknown Speaker: "And then the soldiers came and so I came out to receive them and the first thing I knew, Get down and On your knees, and then when I was kneeling down then, then I got the gun butt in the kidneys then they got to the sisters and they called the whites out and they started hitting them. And the one who was wounded he had to get out of his bed and he couldn't walk, we had to help him out and he stood there between us and we with his arm drowned on our shoulders and then they gave him a clouded frustrate face, and kicked them and they were being wounded."

Announcer: In emergency session the United Nation Security Council gathered the mandate to the Secretary General and an emergency police force was sent in to restore order.

On August 8, Dag Hammarskjöld solemnly told his colleagues.

Dag Hammarskjöld: "I do not hesitate to say that the speed is possible, I would even say immediate. Achievement of such a solution of the Congo problem is a question of peace for war. I would say peace for war, I do not limit my perspective to the Congo."

Announcer: And to this day the future of the young republic is still in doubt.

As the first phase of the Congo problem passed, the United Nations General Assembly prepared for its 15th session. When Premier Khrushchev decided to attend, a dozen other heads of state followed suit. They came from all over the world. The largest gathering of national leaders in history.

President Eisenhower and Khrushchev spoke on succeeding days.

Eisenhower: "These then are the five ingredients of the program I proposed for Africa. Non-interference in the African country's internal affairs helped in assuring their security without wasteful and dangerous competitions in armaments, emergency aid to the Congo, international assistance in shaping long-term African development programs, United Nations aid for education."

Announcer: The Soviet leader turned to his previously stated demands for world disarmament without the necessary safeguards of international inspection.

Krushchev: "(Russian.)"

Interpreter: "The Soviet government is deeply convinced that only a radical solution of the disarmament problem, which would provide for the complete prohibition of nuclear weapons together with the succession of their manufacture and testing and the destruction of all accumulated stockpiles of these weapons can fully accord with the task of delivering mankind from the threat of nuclear war looming over it."

Announcer: Britain's Prime Minister Harold McMillan pressed for the inspection plan and was graded with a most unstatesman-like outburst.

Harold McMillan: "Of course that is the threat. None of us particularly will welcome. In our countries large number of officials, a large number of officials from abroad. I'd like it translated if he was editing."

Announcer: But Khrushchev was not finished. His next target was Secretary General Dag Hammarskjöld, who more than held his own in the following exchanges.

Krushchev: "Positions of immature pulled the post of Secretary General who alone governs the staff and alone interprets and executes the decisions of the Security Council and sessions of the United Nations General Assembly should be abolished. We consider it treasonable and just for the executive body of the United Nations to be constituted not as one person, the Secretary General, but as three. This executive body should represent the State's parties to the military blocks of the western powers, the socialist states and the neutral states."

Dag Hammarskjöld: "It is a question not of a man but of an institution. I would rather see that office break on strict adherence to the principle of independence in partiality and objectivity then drift on the basis of compromise."

Krushchev: "We do not trust Mr. Hammarskjöld and cannot trust him. If he himself does not muster up enough courage to resign, so to say in a chivalrous manner, then we shall draw the necessary conclusions from the situation that obtains."

Dag Hammarskjöld: "I have a responsibility to all those states members for which the organization decides the importance. A responsibility which overwrites all other configurations.

"It is very easy to resign. It is not so easy to stay on. It is very easy to bow to the wish of a big part. It is another method to resist. If it is the wish of those nations who have seen the organization their best protection in the present world I shall do so again."

Announcer: Khrushchev's table pounding in the defiance of Hammarskjöld's words could not silence the record breaking ovation accorded the Secretary General.

Later another sort of record was set when Cuba's Fidel Castro fired the longest salvo in the war of words. He spoke for four-and-a-half hours. When he finally left New York Castro gave reporters this cryptic statement.

Fidel Castro: "We came to tell many truths to the United Nations..."

Unknown Speaker: "Are you a communist, Fidel?"

Fidel Castro: "Well, wait for the history, the history will state what we are."

Announcer: The celebrated leaders of Nations went home, and their delegates settled down to hard deliberation in the cause of world peace.

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