APRIL 17, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—In talking with Madame Leon Blum yesterday afternoon, I found that she is very much interested in the setting up, throughout the world, of houses somewhat similar to our International Houses, which we have organized in connection with universities or religious groups in large cities throughout this country.
Madame Blum feels that the sacrifice which will be demanded of the young people in France during the next few years will be very great, but that, if they can see it as a great challenge to serve not only their own nation but the world as a whole, they will rise to almost any heights.
I have a feeling that this same thing is true of the young people in our country. If they can feel that they have before them a very great challenge and that their role is an important one, they too, I think, will keep their enthusiasm high and set their standards of living on a global plane. When I was young, this was expressed by a phrase: "Hitching your wagon to a star." Nowadays, it is hitching your ideals to the United Nations and learning really to love and work with your brother man.
* * *
There was a most interesting article in the paper this morning on the difference in thinking, which had emerged in the Security Council discussions of the Iranian question, between ourselves and certain other groups on the one side and the Russian delegate on the other. No one doubts the sincerity of the Russian point of view, the article points out, and therefore it is baffling to contemplate the future, because with two equally sincere points of view being expressed, there is little chance of either being modified.
Fundamentally, the Russians seem to feel that agreement in the Security Council should be reached only among the great nations, since they are the ones who provide men and material for war. The other nations, instead of having a voice in the agreements and being counted in the vote, would be there to carry out such policies as the great nations agreed upon.
This is contrary, of course, to our whole idea of majority participation and the rights of small nations to share alike with big nations in the decisions on questions of importance which do not actually lead to punitive action. A good many people think that, even in cases where punitive action is undertaken, the veto power should be done away with in order to insure a wider expression of the majority point of view. For the time being, however, that idea has been set aside.
The pattern set in our Constitution, where each state, large or small, has two representatives in the Senate and therefore equal power in that body, was apparently followed in setting up the Charter of the United Nations. This is a very fundamental question and will undoubtedly have to be resolved before much real understanding can take place between the Soviet delegate and the delegates from the other nations.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1946, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC.; REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR PART PROHIBITED.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 17, 1946
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University Old Main Building, Suite 406 1951 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20052
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