My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LONDON, Tuesday—I have just received my first mail from home and, apparently, in my absence some curious statements have been made. One is that I informed Sen. Howard McGrath, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, that I could no longer support President Truman. This is totally untrue. I never even talked to Sen. McGrath on this subject.

Another letter states that Drew Pearson announced that I was not going to support the President. And other letters beseech me not to resign from the United Nations.

I will, of course, support the President on all things that I feel are right. However, in regard to one subject—the Palestine situation—in which I felt we were not acting wisely, I asked him if it would be embarrassing to him for me to say so publicly. I wished him and Secretary of State Marshall to know that I would entirely understand if they should object to my stating my point of view and should prefer therefore to have me resign from the Human Rights Commission—which is the only body of the United Nations on which I now serve.

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In answer to my letter, the President said that my position did not in any way embarrass him and that he hoped I would not resign. This is an extremely generous attitude and one which I deeply appreciate. As long as he and the Secretary of State feel that I can be useful within the United Nations, I wish to give the maximum service possible there. And I am entirely in accord with the general foreign policy of the Administration.

Apparently, many people do not understand that, at the close of every session of the General Assembly, the members of our delegation cease to be members, except in the case of Warren Austin, who is the permanent representative of the United States on the Security Council. I am not, therefore, a member of our delegation. For the special session of the Assembly soon to be held, and again for the next regular session in the autumn, a U.S. delegation has to be nominated by the President and confirmed by the Senate.

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I spent the weekend at Windsor Castle with Their Majesties the King and Queen. They were, as always, charming and thoughtful, and it was deeply touching to see their loyalty to my husband's memory. Queen Mother Mary, who was there, is a perfectly remarkable person and shows great interest in everything that goes on in the world. She took my breath away on Monday morning by being up and dressed to say goodbye to me.

Princess Elizabeth and her husband, the Duke of Edinburgh, and Princess Margaret Rose were also there. And on Sunday night, the Duchess of Kent came over. Her second son was my husband's godchild. She told me she was going to bring him to the unveiling of the statue in Grosvenor Square and, though he is only 5 years old, she hopes he will remember it all his life.

On Saturday evening after dinner, we were taken on a tour of the castle. One could not possibly remember all the art treasures there, but it was a feast for the eyes. When one realizes that William the Conqueror built this castle as a fortress for the defense of London and that, from that time on, it has gradually grown and has been lived in by all the people whose portraits hang on the walls, one finds it hard to believe.

It is in seeing things like this that one gains an understanding of what traditions really mean—traditions and customs that go back hundreds of years. For instance, while at dinner we heard the sound of bagpipes, and then the doors opened and a piper, resplendent in his kilts, marched around the table playing various selections. Mr. Churchill whispered in my ear, "This is a Windsor custom. I have been here when a number of them have come marching around."

On Sunday morning, we attended the service in St. George's Chapel. I particularly enjoyed the singing of the little boys who attend the choir school. They look like angels, though I'm quite sure they have all of the normal boyish defects!

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Much of the food served at Windsor Castle has to be grown on the place or entertaining would be impossible even for the King and Queen. And I was told that the traditional uniform worn at the castle was worn during my visit only in my honor.

When one talks to people who have houses to run, one begins to realize the daily difficulties of living which the British, rich and poor alike, have to bear. Fats are extremely short, and every one to whom I brought a small bit of soap has been overjoyed.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL