The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LONDON, Sunday—At the first business session of the UNO Assembly Paul-Henri Spaak of Belgium said that he felt a great honor had been paid him and that he would discharge his duties to the best of his ability.

He was kind enough to say a special word of welcome to me and to add how much my husband's work for the organization was in his mind at this opening session.

Then it looked for a little while as though we were going to have an endless number of speeches on the question of rules and procedures. I notice that men always feel passionately about these rules, and on our own delegation Congressman Bloom keeps impressing upon us how very important it is to get the rules just as you want them.

Not having had vast experience with parliamentary procedure, this never seemed to me quite as desperate a question as it appears to those who are experienced, but I am beginning to realize that it is a help to have your rules well thought out in advance.

The two official languages used at the meetings are English and French. If anyone speaks in French, it is translated into English, and vice versa. This doubles the time it takes for any speech, and for that reason I feel that everybody should try to condense their remarks. But French is not a language in which it is easy to speak briefly. I think that the beauty of the language carries one away into expressions of high sentiment.

That afternoon we had the first meeting of the committee on which Senator Townsend and I represent the United States, dealing with social, humanitarian and cultural questions. In the main conference room at Church House the senator sat directly behind me, and back of us along the wall sat Mr. Sandifer of the State Department and some other advisers. Arthur Henderson, the British member of the committee, sat on my right. Mr. Lavrentiev, the Russian representative, was on my left.

Our first business was to elect a chairman. The Canadian delegate nominated Peter Fraser of New Zealand. I seconded the nomination. Having been in New Zealand and having known Fraser, I feel that he will be a chairman who will bring a deep interest and long experience to the work of this committee.

New Zealand is a small country, though it is part of the British Empire. They have tried many social experiments and I think that Fraser, as chairman, will bring to new world problems a point of view which can combine the feeling of both the smaller and larger nations.

After Fraser was chosen to be chairman, we adjourned and I dashed back to my hotel for an hour with my secretary.

Just before returning to the afternoon Assembly meeting a group of about ten American soldiers came to call on me to tell me how they felt on certain matters. I was glad to see these young men since, because of my own boys, I always have a sense of kinship with our soldiers.

I am deeply sympathetic with their problems and always wish I could sit down and really have a talk with them. In this case I had to keep them standing and hurry them out, as Miss Frieda Miller, who was driving back to Westminster Hall with me, already was waiting.

That afternoon we selected the Vice Presidents of the Assembly. They were chosen by countries and those named were China, France, South Africa, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States and Venezuela.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Bloom, Sol, 1870-1949 [ index ]
         American Representative from New York
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Fraser, Peter, 1884-1950 [ index ]
         New Zealand politician; Prime Minister of New Zealand from 1940 to 1949
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Lavrentiev, Anatoli I. [ index ]
  • Miller, Frieda S. [ index ]
         American activist; served on United States Women's Bureau (1944-1953)
         [ LC | VIAF | SNAC ]
  • Roosevelt, Franklin D. (Franklin Delano), 1882-1945 [ index ]
         American politician; 32nd President of the United States
         [ ERPP bio | LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives | ANB ]
  • Rowley, Arthur Henderson, Baron, 1893-1968 [ index ]
         British politician; Under-Secretary of State for India and Burma; Secretary of State for Air; Under-Secretary of State for War
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • Sandifer, Durward V. (Durward Valdamir), 1900-1981 [ index ]
         American lawyer and public servant; Legal counsel at the US Department of State
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives ]
  • Spaak, Paul-Henri, 1899-1972 [ index ]
         Belgian socialist politician, diplomat, and statesman; Prime Minister of Beligum from 1938 to 1939, 1949, and 1947 to 1949
         [ LC | ISNI | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC | FAST | US Nat. Archives | Other source ]
  • Townsend, John G., 1871-1964 [ index ]
         American businessman and politician; Republican Governor of Delaware and US Senator from Delaware
         [ LC | VIAF | Wikidata | SNAC ]
  • London (England, United Kingdom) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 14, 1946

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
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  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.