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

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—Our snow here yesterday gave us the most beautiful shadows and blue lights in the early morning, and at sunset there was a glow over the ice in the brook and on the snow which made this last fling of winter a scene of great beauty.

I sat looking at all this beauty while I listened to the report on the radio of the Atlantic Pact. Now I have had a chance to read the text, and I think it can truthfully be called a defense treaty. I think also that it is made very plain in the text that this pact is conceived within the United Nations Organization.

Article One states clearly that the parties undertake, as set forth in the charter of the UN, "to settle any international dispute in which they may be involved by peaceful means."

Article Four and Article Five seem to me a realistic facing of the need for defense and of the steps that must be taken in case of aggression. And our own particular domestic situation, as regards Congress, seems to be well taken care of by the words, "such action as it deems necessary, including the use of armed force, to restore and maintain the security of the North Atlantic area."

I suppose it is natural, since our difficulties have been growing with the Soviet Union, that they should feel that this is designed as an aggressive measure against them. Yet I believe that is far from the truth. Unfortunately, we have reached a point where we suspect every action taken by the Soviet Union and they suspect every action taken by us. In the light of this situation, it is true that it has been impossible to create the kind of "one world" envisioned by Wendell Willkie, or to avoid any regional pacts within the United Nations. If it had been possible to encourage greater understanding and to prevent suspicion and animosity, no regional pacts might have been formed. But with conditions as they are, this may give the democracies sufficient sense of security to face calmly and with less fear the alliance of the USSR and its border states.

The democracies may now be more ready in a general way to take excursions into fields where we might be able to create greater unity in some types of development. The Soviet Union seems of late to be cutting itself off in one field after another. It has left the World Health Organization, it has not entered into the wheat pact, it has never been a part of UNESCO or of the International Labor Organization.

If, however, we could find something in the economic field which would break this continuous tendency toward withdrawal, and get us working together, the situation might improve. Feeling protected from aggression may make for greater willingness on the part of the democracies to take steps along new lines. Some contact must be established with the Soviets unless we are going to continue indefinitely the trend toward ever greater isolationism for the USSR.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 21, 1949

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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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.