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

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NEW YORK, Tuesday—When I spoke the other day at an Essex, Conn., forum on the United Nations, one or two of the questions troubled me. For instance, the usual questions on what the Greek-Turkish aid program means to this country came out rather indirectly in a question on whether the Truman policy had hurt the United Nations.

Finally, one gentleman asked whether, if what was now being said was true, it would not be better just to leave the Russians out of all of our calculations, even out of the United Nations—in other words, to organize a world in which two groups would face each other. One, obviously the Russian one, might be weak at present and, therefore, for a time we would be safe. Under this theory, we wouldn't be learning to get on together in one world—instead, we would be preparing for a two-world war.

That, of course, is basically what troubles Henry Wallace. He feels that we are pulling further and further apart, and that, without realizing it, we may be setting the stage for a two-world catastrophe.

* * *

I am rather sorry that Mr. Wallace had to go to England to make his speeches in order to get them printed in this country, because I do not like criticisms of our country made abroad. I prefer them made at home. But in all fairness we have to recognize that Mr. Wallace's rather dramatic action has brought an amount of attention which probably nothing else would have brought.

Nobody in Great Britain jumped on Winston Churchill when he made his Fulton, Mo., speech, which certainly was not exactly in line with what his goverment was saying at the time. I doubt if it will hurt us seriously to have Mr. Wallace's point of view presented abroad.

We must remember that, through the United Nations, through diplomatic channels, and through reports in our press, every country in the world can know pretty well what our country is thinking and feeling. Also, there are foreign correspondents here who can talk to any of our citizens at any time. They may come from countries where a censorship exists and where only such things are printed as their governments wish to print, but the governments get full information. To believe that the rest of the world doesn't know anything they want to know about what is said or done over here, is to be like the proverbial ostrich and bury our heads in the sand.

I think that the New York Times editorial yesterday morning on this subject was perhaps a little more reasonable than some of the utterances in Congress have been. The real answer, of course, to all of the agitation which is troubling us today is a consistent democratic program for the whole world and such vigor in our plans that the world will really find in us the leadership it needs. That is how to promote the ideals of democracy that we cherish.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 16, 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

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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.