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

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NEW YORK, Thursday—It seems curious that, while Israel is so ready to comply with the United Nations proposal to cease fire, the Arabs continue to raise obstacles. The Arabs apparently hope to gain certain conditions before they cease fire. One wonders what they hope to achieve except the conviction on the part of the rest of the world that they do not want peace!

* * *

I am afraid that the demonstrations in Washington against the Mundt Bill will have the effect of gaining votes for it rather than reducing them. Why Henry Wallace allows his party to lend itself to this kind of perfectly open Communist manipulation, I will never be able to understand.

If the Mundt Bill passes, it will be one more thing on which the Communists can attack us—another piece of restrictive legislation, which all of us who are liberals will deeply regret. It is naive and absurd not to recognize the fact that the Communists will be enchanted if it passes, and that, in inspiring demonstrations such as have occurred in the national capital, they are carrying on the same sort of maneuvers that they have used before. The Communists are using other people, notably Wallace's third party, to accomplish the ends they have in view—their usual tactics.

* * *

Last evening, I heard Dr. Gunnar Myrdal speak at a dinner given under the auspices of the legal committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. After the years he spent here working on the study for the Carnegie Corporation which resulted in the publication of his remarkable and interesting book, "An American Dilemma," he returned to Europe and is now head of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe.

It was interesting to hear him say that, in spite of having studied some of our darkest and most discouraging problems, he has come to love the United States—to admire its promise for the future and its idealism, which never lets us have a quiet conscience so long as we know that our professed ideals are so far from achievement.

* * *

In the Human Rights Commission yesterday, we moved forward but still so slowly that I wonder how we can possibly finish the Declaration on Human Rights by the end of this week—which is what many of us hope to do. It will be a great disappointment, I think, to the smaller nations, and to the minority groups throughout the world, if the commission, at the end of its allotted time, has to report to the Economic and Social Council that it just had no time left for consideration of a Covenant on Human Rights, with provisions for implementation.

It is a great temptation to talk about many things suggested by the articles that come up, rather than to stick to the business in hand and spurn all temptations to discuss any side issues. I hope, however, that as less and less time lies before us, we will settle down to passing more than three articles a day. There are 33 in the whole Declaration and we have spent more than a week on only 11 of them!

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 4, 1948

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.