My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Monday—I am beginning to get very confused. One person tells me that the United Nations has no responsibility to keep the peace in Palestine, and the next one tells me that the U.N. does have that responsibility. One person tells me that it is essential that neither the United States nor Russia send any troops to Palestine; the next one tells me it is essential that all nations be required to send troops on a percentage basis.

One person tells me that under no circumstances must it appear that war is being waged against the Arabs; the next person insists that the U.N. Charter says an aggressor nation must be held in check. If any one is making war today, it would seem to me that the Arabs are the ones who have refused to work peacefully for a solution of an unpleasant situation.

No one expected either the Jews or the Arabs to be completely satisfied with the U.N. majority report. But everyone hoped that they would, in reasonable fashion, attempt to work out a solution to the whole problem, beginning with the majority report as a basis and seeing how it could be improved upon.

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Certainly the situation in the world as a whole, with Russia taking over Czechoslovakia and inviting Finland to make a defense pact, seems to be reducing a good many parts of the world to a state of fear. The invitation to Finland can hardly be refused, so it might rather be considered an order.

The USSR uses every means to induce the rest of the world to believe that the United States is an imperialistic aggressor. The facts point to just the opposite. We have offered to help certain nations to help themselves, but we are not offering to control them in the manner in which the Soviet Union controls its so-called friends. When persons in this country say that our policy has forced on Russia its present policy, I begin to wonder if they are able to follow the facts or if they just don't want to follow them.

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A group the other day made the statement that there were still people in the world being used under forced-labor conditions. That, of course, was true in many countries as long as there were prisoners of war, but I supposed that by now all prisoners of war had been returned or were in the process of being returned to their native countries, so that any forced labor anywhere would be of very minor proportions.

If foreign correspondents had free access to all countries today, such an accusation could be very quickly answered. I hope that, after the March meeting of the United Nations Freedom of Information Conference, we will see the beginnings of a code which would insure better standards among the newspapers themselves in every country and a greater flow of information among all countries.

E. R.

TMs, AERP, FDRL