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

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—It was interesting, yesterday, in the United Nations to find the subject of reduction of armaments brought up both by the Canadian delegate and by Mr. Molotov. There is no question about it—the sooner there is agreement as to the type of international police force we can have, the sooner it will be possible to discuss the way to reducing armaments universally.

I feel there is a lack of understanding in Mr. Molotov's speech of the fact that Mr. Baruch has only stated a very obvious truth when he says that the veto cannot be used where the international control of the atom bomb is concerned.

That part in Mr. Molotov's speech in which he advocates the development of atomic energy for peaceful purposes only left rather vague how the nations of the world were to make sure that this was actually being done. There is only one way to insure no misuse of this development and that is by international inspection and punishment for anyone who violates the rules laid down for this type of industry. The veto could not be used, or inspection would be meaningless.

* * *

The United States was accused of selfish interests as regards the plan developed by the Baruch committee. I am quite willing to believe that selfish interests enter into that plan, but it seems to me there is no nation which does not have selfish interests. The thing we will have to do is to come to an understanding of the fact that selfish interests are better served when we have international cooperation. I believe that for the present the general veto on questions which deal with the actual use of force within a country by order of the Security Council is entirely correct.

The United Nations is built on the assumption of unity among the five great powers in their efforts for cooperation throughout the world. That unity never can exist, however, if our nation, Great Britain and Russia do not stop discussing their differences. Unity is created by trying to find points of agreement—by developing better understanding among the individuals representing each group, so that they may interpret better to their various countries the points of view which must be arbitrated in order to find ways of working together.

At no time will everyone feel that he has won all he desires, but it is just this give-and-take which has to be developed within the United Nations. Otherwise, we will go back to the isolation of individual nations and in the world, as it is today, that seems to mean a miserable life for the people of every nation.

* * *

Mr. Molotov is quite correct when he said: "Atomic bombs used by one side may be opposed by atomic bombs and something else from the other side." I suppose that the day will come when all nations will know the secret of making the atomic bomb and since all nations, including Russia, Great Britain and ourselves, are now busy developing other weapons of war, they also will be available.

The objective of the United Nations is to create an atmosphere in which peace can grow in the world. The Assembly is of value because the weight of public opinion can be brought to bear through the spokesmen of the various delegations. We should pay attention to that public opinion and profit by it and not resent it. Compromises are the only solution that I know of when opposing views have to be harmonized sufficiently to create a working basis among individuals or nations.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics
  • Atomic bomb
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Nuclear energy
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Peace
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Roosevelt, Eleanor--on international relations

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 31, 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

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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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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.