My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Friday—I read Secretary of State Acheson's interpretation of the President's program, outlined in his inaugural address, and it seems to hold great promise. The greatest help we can give to undeveloped areas is the furnishing of skill and knowledge along certain lines. It is not just a question of money, but the suggestion that private capital go hand in hand with the government's scheme of aid gives a promise of cooperation which ought to be far-reaching.

At a meeting Wednesday night of the League of Women Voters, where leaders from all over the country were discussing how to bring a fuller knowledge of the United Nations activities and of our foreign policy into the lives of our citizens, the question of the North Atlantic Security Alliance was brought up over and over again. There is certainly a grave concern in people's minds as to what plans actually uphold and make stronger the United Nations and what are legitimate activities undertaken outside the United Nations.

This pact seems to many to fall perhaps under the regional idea, but, geographically, it appears somewhat complicated. Nevertheless, there is a feeling that perhaps a pact which would be more nearly a renewal of the United Nations' pledge jointly to put down aggression wherever it exists and which would be open to all members of the United Nations might serve a better purpose.

It is clear, of course, that the North Atlantic Security Alliance has as its purpose the giving of greater assurance and stability to the Western democracies. Secretary Acheson in his press conference said that the aim of the pact is to make it "absolutely clear in advance that any armed attack affecting our national security would be met by overwhelming force." "Our," of course, means the member states in the North Atlantic Security Alliance.

It seems to me that it would be well if the public in the United States could be a little more aware of what are the plans under negotiation and what countries are involved in the negotiations of the North Atlantic pact.

That there is a very great interest in the participation of the United States in the programs of the United Nations seems clearer than ever before. I have not been to a single meeting to speak on this subject where I have not been told that the sponsors could have filled their meeting place many times over.

On Wednesday I spoke at a meeting sponsored by The Veritans Clubs in Paterson, N.J., where representatives of civil organizations were invited to attend. The subject was the United Nations and I heard again the familiar cry that they could have sold many times the number of seats which they had at their disposal.

This is an encouraging sign because it shows that more and more people are becoming conscious of the fact that the United Nations is the instrument through which we must work for peace and that all our national proposals must be considered in relation to their effect on the work that we do within the world organization.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL