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


NEW YORK, Monday—The other day John Foster Dulles, Republican adviser on world affairs, in a speech in New York, said that our strength with foreign nations was due to the participation of the Republicans in our foreign policy. In one way, he is entirely correct. Foreign nations have learned from sad experience that, while it is the duty of the executive branch of our government, the President and the Secretary of State, to draw up treaties and deal with foreign affairs, the final agreements have to be ratified by the Senate. The array of treaties that were not ratified caused one Secretary of State—John Hay, I believe—to remark that he was tired of drawing up useless documents, or words to that effect!

The failure of President Wilson to take Republican Sen. Henry Cabot Lodge with him to the conferences out of which grew the League of Nations, was probably the cause of the failure of the Senate to approve of our participation in the League. Since a little group of "willful men" can do a very effective job in preventing a policy from being adopted, it's no wonder that the representatives of other governments and the peoples of the world want our participation in the United Nations and the framing of our foreign policy to be on a bipartisan basis.

This was important while the Republicans were in the minority, and it is equally important today that the Democrats be in accord with our foreign policy, even though they may be in the minority in the legislative branch of the government. So I would like to emphasize the value of bipartisan participation in the formation of foreign policy, rather than the predominant influence of either party.

* * *

Yesterday I was in Cleveland to participate, on the closing day, in a conference of the educational directors of the UAW-CIO unions. Nearly a thousand people came to the conference from all over the United States. It was an interested and active group of men and women, all of whom wanted to learn how to make their unions more intelligent, and more useful not only to union interests but to the United States and the world as a whole.

The two morning speeches were made by James Patton, head of the National Farmers' Union, and by Edward L. Bernays, public relations expert. I was particularly interested in a suggestion made by Mr. Patton that a council be appointed from the UAW to work with a council from the Farmers' Union, so that they could more closely coordinate their interests and understand at what points they could work together.

Ever since I can remember, there had been an apparent division between agriculture and labor. Yet each is a consumer of the other's productions. And of course, this is true of every individual—nearly all of us are both producers and consumers. If we could understand our mutual interests, we might wipe out a great many points of difference and work out some wide areas in which we could work together.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics
  • Labor unions
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • United States--International relations

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 28, 1947

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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.