My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

PARIS,Wednesday—The French government is still trying hard to get acceptance from somebody to form a new Cabinet. President Vincent Auriol is waiting to hear from M. Edgar Faure, who is the latest person he has tried to interest. Of course, it doesn't surprise me that a man is hesitant to head the government here because it always seems to last such a short time and there is always a need to do something drastic, which cannot be done in a short time.

* * *

I smiled today when reading my New York newspapers because of the procession of high government people who are taking themselves to Washington day after day. It reminds me of part of the time when we lived in the White House and it seemed to me that there was a constant procession of people from distant parts of world to talk things over with my husband!

Hard on the heels of British Prime Minister Churchill and Foreign Secretary Eden, the Dutch Premier, William Drees, arrived in New York.

One significant note regarding these foreign dignitaries is the fact, that they are all very much interested in seeing our production centers. Premier Drees' itinerary will take him to Bridgeport, Conn., Buffalo, and Pittsburgh before he even goes to Washington. I suppose this is because he wants to be able to talk with greater understanding of our economic picture.

* * *

We sat in Committee Three all Tuesday morning and finally we were able to dispose of the unhappy question regarding publication of our preliminary report in the form of a United Nations document. It was not worth all time we spent on it. Then we proceeded to waste the entire afternoon on procedure when we reached the question of discussion on the resolution concerning the Covenant of Human Rights.

The most important question we have is whether we should have one or two Covenants. Once that reccomendation is made, the other recommendations are more or less easy of acceptance, I think.

But I no longer have any illusions as to anything being done quickly in Committee Three.

Also, on Tuesday afternoon the Polish delegate introduced a resolution that called upon the General Assembly to contact the proper authorities in Spain and to make representations on behalf of the 24 prisoners who have been in jail since the Barcelona strike. The Polish delegate mentioned a letter, which had been received by all the delegations, and said these prisoners had only spoken up for the rights of their people and therefore the committee dealing with humanitarian matters should speak in their favor.

Of course, until there is a Covenant that has been ratified, these resolutions, passed in any committee and in the General Assembly, are totally ineffective in moving a government that is not susceptible to public opinion.

That has been proved by the reaction of the Soviet Union over a long period of time. Why we should expect that Generalissimo Franco and his government can be moved any more easily than Soviet government and the Kremlin is difficult to understand.

In any case, this resolution, though introduced under item 29 of our agenda, which reads, "Draft Covenant of Human Rights and Measures of Implementation," has nothing to do with the Covenant. It is totally a separate resolution which should been given to the General Assembly and then referred to Committee Three where it could have been settled on its merits. Now we will spend hours again discussing proper procedures and, at the rate we move, I think there will have to be a continuation of our session in New York to take up any items not finished in the Political Committee and all the questions in Committee Three. I cannot help hoping that if this happens that I will still be in India on my trip.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL