My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—At the United Nations yesterday in Committee #3 a resolution asking for a larger budget for the advisory social services was passed without any dissenting vote, and will be reported shortly to the General Assembly. This was the first item on our agenda which we have considered and finished.

There are a great many more items still before us and all require careful study. Yesterday we spent over an hour merely discussing how we would change the order of our agenda because certain organizations were not prepared to get on with the next point. Finally, we decided to adjourn and pick up an alternate item this morning.

This situation, which means that delegates prepare themselves only for the item that has been announced at a previous session, leads to great delay in the work of the committee. It seems to me that any committee member should try to prepare himself on all the items on the committee's agenda. Of course, exceptions would be made on cases where translations or reports are not ready and therefore have not been read.

If committee members prepare for only one thing at a time, then the slightest difficulty means that we are obliged to adjourn. Then no work is accomplished. This results in spending our first weeks without really covering as much work as we should, and then at the end there is a mad rush. Toward the close of the session we are forced to meet at night, the delegates are tired, and nothing is as well considered as it would be if we worked and planned more carefully at the beginning.

There must be something, though, about large groups of people that makes them act this way. The Washington newspaper correspondents tell me that our own Congress acts very much in the same way. I suppose we cannot expect to see a different pattern in the United Nations committees.

A letter from Mr. Aubrey Wolton introduced to me a Mr. John Barclay who came here to tell me about the work he and a few friends started five or six years ago with only 500 pounds in British currency. On the whole, he said, he thought they had done very well and so he had come to the United States to see if he could get a little help from us since the kind of work they were doing for children could be done only in England. And because America is too distant for us to take part in the work, Mr. Barclay is here to see if we can lend some financial aid to these devoted British men and women.

The work is very simple. British families take children who are in poor physical condition from countries that still are not recovered from the war, rehabilitate them and then return them to their native countries. They also take the maimed, the hurt and the blind, as well as those who are just undernourished. They give them proper food and medical care, and, when necessary, education along needed lines.

I was much impressed with Mr. Barclay's sincerity and his complete devotion to his work, and I find I am not the only one who feels that way. Mr. Wolton gave him letters to some of my friends and I sent him to see some other people. All of them felt as I did. So if anyone is interested in the work he is doing they should get in touch with him at the Quaker International Center.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL