My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—We had an unsatisfactory day in the Human Rights Commission yesterday because I had hoped we would have an opportunity to discuss all the new articles proposed by different delegations. That, however, turned out to be a vague hope.

The Soviet Union had by far the greatest number of new articles and Australia had also a considerable number. Most of these were to be added to Part Two of the Covenant and they dealt with economic and social rights. The USSR for some unknown reason seemed to want to get the vote of the Commission on the articles, and if there was only time to get this vote on one or two articles they said they would be satisfied to pass on the others, apparently without comment or discussion, with the rest of the Covenant to the governments.

This morning has to be given to the other items on our agenda. If any time is left, however, we will return to the discussion of new articles and I hope we may hear a little more of the opinion of the Commission.

Because the USSR tried so hard to get a vote on the first two articles, and a procedural debate intervened on a resolution presented by the representative from Denmark, no vote was attained yesterday and we merely considered the two Soviet articles—the right to work and the right to equal pay for men and woman.

The Australian delegation presented all their amendments in one package so that their presentation was ready to go forward even though there may not be time for anyone to take up any one of their articles in debate.

The delegate from India spoke strongly in favor of having the economic and social rights included in a second convention because she was afraid that other nations might have some of the difficulties that India experienced in accepting immediately these social and economic rights with their budgetary implications. As she explained, India, being a new state, did not have a sufficiently firm economic foundation for them to accept these obligations at once, in spite of the fact that they had great sympathy for them.

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Yesterday was one of the days when I tried to eat a sandwich as I did my recordings for the week!

I always enjoy my interviews because they give me a chance to say a few words to some of the interesting ladies who come to tell about the work which they are doing. I was particularly interested in talking with Mrs. Vera Micheles Dean of the Foreign Policy Association. She has become such an expert on world affairs and is so highly regarded everywhere she goes, that it was interesting to have her tell me that she could not remember the time when she had not been interested in world situations. She came quite naturally from college to the job she is occupying because her tutor, Professor Raymond Buell, was in the Foreign Policy Association.

Not everyone has such luck as to get into the work they like best after having been thoroughly trained and to stay in that work without interruption, moving steadily on to greater and greater confidence and responsibility.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL