My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Sunday—At the meeting of the U.S. delegation on Saturday morning, our last meeting during this U.N. General Assembly, I was privileged to present Ambassador Warren Austin with a gavel suitably inscribed, and also with one of the name-boards which are used in front of the seats of Security Council members. Ambassador Austin has sat all these years behind the board marked "United States," and on his retirement we felt it appropriate to give him one to keep with him all the time. He has represented the United States, as he always will, with dignity, loyalty and effectiveness.

These good-byes are always fraught with emotion and I think it was a good break when the photographers came in to take shots of the presentation, for many of us, I am sure, found it hard to say much more. Words are poor things to express real feelings. But when the photographers were finished, I am sure the ambassador felt many a warm handclasp and knew what they expressed.

I said good-bye to as many of my colleagues as possible in the General Assembly on Saturday, but one never does see everyone one would like to see. One of our number, Mrs. Afnan of Iraq, had a regrettable accident and she mounted the rostrum to speak on Saturday with her arm in a sling. To have an accident just at the end of the General Assembly is really too bad, for one does want to take part in all the last sessions.

At the plenary session, when the convention on the political rights of women came up, an effort was made to take out the words "without any discrimination," which had been added to the first and second articles. But the plenary voted instead to add them to the third article. I still feel that, as far as the English language is concerned, this is a mistake. I may well be wrong, however, and at least the three articles are uniform. I hope the convention will serve its purpose of bringing before the governments of the world the need of granting those rights to women wherever they are not now enjoyed. In addition, where women have these rights, I hope this convention will make them work more diligently toward attaining positions where they will be able to use their rights more effectively.

I have a great sense of freedom now that my duties on the General Assembly are over. I luxuriated this morning in the feeling that no meetings awaited me and I could sleep as long as I wanted to. Of course, I didn't want to sleep! That is always what happens when you are free to do as you choose. Tomorrow we are all off to Hyde Park and I look forward to our large reunion of family and friends.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL