My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

LONDON—Secretary of State Byrnes, in his speech to the UNO Assembly in support of the resolution for creating an Atomic Commission, emphasized the fact that we entered the race to discover the secret of the atom "not to destroy but to save civilization. But if the race continues uncontrolled, the civilization we hoped to save may be destroyed."

And he concluded with the words, "We who fought together for freedom must now show that we are worthy of the freedom that we have won."

Those words were a challenge to the Assembly, but particularly, I think, they are a challenge to every individual citizen of every country that fought against Fascism—and nowhere should they be forgotten. I hope very much that, at some time, our President will make a speech to us in the United States calling upon us to understand what responsibilities we assumed through our participation in the United Nations Organization.

In regard to the terms which the Assembly adopted for the appointment of the Secretary General, there is one provision which may deter a number of men from accepting this position. And yet I think it is a very wise provision. Since the Secretary General will be in close relationship with a great many Governments, it is requested that, on retirement, he not accept any Government position in which his confidential information might be a source of embarrassment to other Governments or his own.

* * *

Thursday evening, I attended a meeting of about 1,000 young GI brides. Army officers in charge of starting them on their way to the United States told them of the arrangements being made for their departure. There was great applause when they were told that shipping was now available, so that, between now and March, some 16,000 of them could be on their way to join their husbands. Priority number one exists for girls whose husbands are ill in the United States.

Representatives of the English-Speaking Union told them what it had planned in the way of assistance for them through its central office in New York and its branches in other cities.

I think it would be very helpful, not only to the young women who are going from Britain but also to those who are going from other countries, if one of our big national women's organizations would mobilize all other women's organizations to help these girls get adjusted to their new homes. In almost every town and village, there are such organizations. Volunteers could be found who could allot two or three "friends" to each newcomer and ask these "friends" to be responsible for helping the young woman in her first contacts. I'm sure this would solve many difficulties.

For instance, problem number one will be to find a home. Also, the newcomer will need to know how and where to shop. She must learn American customs. A "friend" can help to bridge the gap between past and present. This would go far towards insuring a happy future for our young soldiers, who perhaps do not realize themselves that such adjustments are not always easily made.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL