My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—An amusing little episode occurred in the session of Committee Three at Lake Success on Saturday. I had made a speech urging that we accept the proposals passed in the Economic and Social Council as regards taking over the control of narcotics from the League of Nations and getting the agreement signed by as many nations as possible during this session. This is important to insure that there will be no break in the control of narcotic drugs.

After long discussion, the Economic and Social Council decided that since the present Spanish government is not a member of the United Nations, they should not be allowed to sign this convention. In addition, it had been suggested that, for purposes of drafting, the resolution should be submitted to the Judicial Committee. But Draft B proposal was the one before us and the one which I moved to pass, and it excluded participation by Spain.

The Argentine delegate spoke at length on not allowing political differences to interfere with the cooperation by all nations on matters for the benefit of mankind. Quite evidently he was in favor of allowing the Spanish government to sign, but he ended his speech by saying that he backed my motion heartily. This proved to me how valuable the State Department advisers are—for if I had failed to read a resolution, as my colleague may have done, my advisers would have seen to it that the resolution, when mentioned, was before me!

I have on previous occasions mentioned the services rendered to the delegates by the State Department advisers. But I should like to emphasize again how valuable it is to all of us. We cannot continuously give careful scrutiny to every paper which is sent us, and we cannot possibly keep in mind all the time the intricacies of every move made by every one of the 50 other members on our committees.

The various governments apparently consider the work before Committee Three of great importance, judging by the men and women on every delegation who are keeping in touch with the work. Many of the most important delegates come in from time to time and sit in when different points come up for discussion. I am very happy to see this, for I realize that it will mean more careful consideration and better decisions on the points before us.

On the advice of the chairman, two subjects were discussed—the convention on narcotics, and the resolution presented by Belgium and accepted by the Economic and Social Council. The discussion was not completed, so we did not reach the third subject, which will be the International Refugee Commission. The chairman suggested that three subcommittees be appointed to which any subject which seemed to require lengthy discussion could be referred and then brought back for final consideration by the whole committee. This ought to expedite our work, provided no delegation, having said its say in the subcommittee, feels that it has to repeat all the arguments when the report is brought back to the whole committee.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL