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

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—What rain we have been having! To see a blue sky and the sun yesterday was something really to shout about. The other day, one of my Hyde Park neighbors recited to me the Dutchess County farmers' lament, and I think it holds good for many other parts of the country. It runs thus:

"In March, the weather is so beautiful that all the buds come out, and then, in April, we have winter again and everything is frozen. In May and early June, we practically have floods, and everything we plant is washed away or rotted in the ground. In July and early August, we have one continuous drought, and everything that was not drowned is burned up. Then comes harvest time and, with one voice, we all lament: 'There is so much produce on the market that the prices one can get make it hardly worthwhile to grow anything.' "

* * *

In reading about the discussion which occurred when the Economic and Social Council took up the report of the Human Rights Commission, I thought John G. Winant, our delegate, put very well the position of the United States and most of the other nations on the importance of freedom of information. There were two additional points, however, which I think the delegate from the USSR, Nicolai J. Feonov, did not quite understand.

The main business of the full Commission on Human Rights will be to write a bill of rights which will include all the points, we hope, which Mr. Feonov mentioned. In the meantime, the material necessary for the commission's information is to be gathered by the secretariat, if the report's recommendations are accepted by the Economic and Social Council. So there was no ignoring on the part of the nuclear commission of the importance of equality for all persons, regardless of race or sex, and no ignoring of any of the other points which Mr. Feonov made.

A subcommission on freedom of information was considered vital as an aid to making this international bill of rights more than just a collection of words to which nations would give lip service. Unless we have freedom of information, there will be no knowledge of whether nations do or do not carry out their promises, and so even the best bill of rights that could be written would be worthless.

I think these are essential points that must not be overlooked by our very practical friends, the Russians, who do deal in realities and certainly have logical minds.

* * *

I was very much interested in reading CIO president Philip Murray's analysis of the Case bill and his plea to the President. This bill is not an emergency measure to meet an emergency situation. It is a permanent bill which will affect our future labor conditions in the country as a whole. I think that, instead of bettering them, it will bring us more trouble and bitter resentment on the part of organized labor. Certainly that is not what we want.

I hope the President will veto the Case bill. A temporary measure to handle an emergency situation may be necessary if, unfortunately, we have not been able, in advance, to handle the situation and it becomes serious to the whole nation. The Case bill is permanently harmful, not just to labor but to labor relations, which include business and the country as a whole.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 5, 1946

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.