My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Thursday—We worked all day yesterday at Lake Success trying to write Articles 5 and 6 of the Convention on Human Rights. I cannot say that our progress was rapid, but perhaps we are clarifying certain fundamental things in the minds of the members of the commission.

One question that must be decided sooner or later is whether we write one all-inclusive clause, as we have in the declaration and which in general terms will set forth limitations covering all articles or whether we should write with each article certain exceptions, making them as far as possible cover the various categories of exceptions which can of course, be presented ad infinitum to any article.

We may, of course, compromise in some way, leaving some articles with no limitations, putting some under a general limitations clause, and listing specific exceptions to others. The decision on this probably will not be taken until the end of the draft.

It seems to be fairly well decided that we must try to write a Covenant and have it ready for presentation to the General Assembly in the autumn of 1950, though one or two members of the delegation think it may take far longer than that before any Covenant is actually accepted and in operation.

* * *

Franklin, Jr., has received a great many telegrams congratulating him on his election to Congress—a very nice one from the President. The chairmen of both the National and New York State Democratic committees wired saying they would be glad to welcome him as a Democrat. I did not hear whether he had heard from James A. Farley, who came out against him just before election, but I am sure that everyone is going to try to forget their pre-election difficulties and work for unity within the party.

* * *

It is rather pleasant to spend an evening away from politics and my United Nations duties, and last night I did just that and went to see "South Pacific." Lauded to the skies by everyone who has seen it, this play certainly lives up to all expectations in every way.

Mary Martin has real charm, and Ezio Pinza, as the middle-aged lover, not only is attractive but sings very well. The music is good, the lyrics are charming and—what is so rare in musical plays—the play itself holds your interest and makes the people seem real. You have interest in all of the characters from Bloody Mary to the young lieutenant. I think it will run for years, and I am glad of it because it is a really outstanding and artistic performance.

The only allusion to politics in the performance is when Ensign Nellie Forbush is asked what her French lover's politics are. When she asked him he answered that he believed "that all men were created equal," which satisfied her completely and brought me back much too quickly to the Declaration of Human Rights!

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL