My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Friday—A headline in one of the newspapers yesterday evening said: "U.S. on Spot in U.N. Over Tunisia Issue," and one paragraph in the article is most misleading. It follows:

"While Soviet Russia makes propaganda hay with its phony sympathy for colonial peoples, the U.S. is siding with the so-called 'imperialists'—and is abandoning a previously stated principle to do so."

The fact is the U.S. has not abandoned its previous position on the question that Tunisia should be heard.

On a new proposition, namely, that the Bey of Tunis be heard, the U.S. voted with Great Britain and France, feeling that the treaty between France and Morocco, which gives France control of international affairs for Morocco, made this a different case from that which had previously come up. This, however, does not mean that the U.S. has in any way changed the position it took about having this case discussed.

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We finally voted on the resolution yesterday in Committee 3 covering the report of the High Commissioner for Refugees, so that item is now behind us.

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It was not until a few days ago that I heard of a column in which it was said that I had broken a pact that was made at a meeting in Washington when all of those working in the U.N. were said to have agreed to take no part in the political campaign.

I want to state emphatically that I was never asked to attend such a meeting and never did attend such a meeting.

In my work in the U.N., I have always worked on a nonpartisan basis. I think I have been equally cooperative with Republicans and Democrats inside and outside the U.N. on subjects touching the work of the world organizations. I have never considered, however, that my work in the U.N. obliged me to be nonpartisan or to keep out of politics as a private individual.

Approximately five months of the year have been given to U.N. work. The rest of the year I have received no pay—I have held no position in the government or in the U.N. Neither during the time I was working in the U.N. nor at any other time have I been asked to give up the activities or opinions that I have held as a private citizen.

I doubt very much if any such meeting as this columnist described was ever held—but if it was, I was not present.

It is not often that one sees or hears the many things that are written or said over the radio or TV at the time they appear, but in the long run they usually seep through to one in one way or another. I imagine this particular column is several weeks old. The inquiries that led to my finding out about it came only two or three days ago.

Nothing that is said disturbs me very much, but when a thing is absolutely untrue—and it could easily have been checked before the statements were made—I think it is well to correct what many people might believe to be true. There seems to be no reason for inventing it.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL