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


NEW YORK, Tuesday—We had a very interesting discussion Monday afternoon in Committee 3 on the article in the Convention on "The Traffic in Persons and Prostitution." It showed clearly how the approach to one question in the United Nations may affect another apparently unrelated subject.

For instance, if a government does not belong to a certain specialized agency, or if it does not adhere to the International Court of Justice or has accepted the jurisdiction of the court only under certain conditions, that particular situation will show up in the attitude of the government in relation to a covenant such as this one.

In this article provision was made by the Social Commission for the various ways that differences of opinion between countries were to be handled. The commission said that when all other means failed, the parties in dispute "shall refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice."

We, in the United States, recognized that the preceding fact stated that all other methods having failed, then it should be referred to the International Court of Justice. The Ukraine felt this did not include arbitration and put in an amendment suggesting the use of arbitration. On the other hand, we felt that it should be made clear that when all these other methods had failed there was an obligation to refer the dispute to the International Court of Justice. Since both parties might not agree, we wanted the article to say that one party could refer it to the court. But some nations objected to this provision. They maintained that this made it mandatory to accept the jurisdiction of the International Court of Justice and as they did not wish to do that, they would be unable to accept such a provision in this convention.

All of this reflected attitudes toward the court, not only our feeling on this convention. Finally, however, the article was passed with the amendment proposed by the United States.

Yesterday I lunched with John Golden in midtown, New York and again enjoyed meeting Billie Burke, who looks as charming as ever. How I wish we might see her again on the stage.

At the end of the afternoon session at Lake Success, I returned to my apartment just in time to have Walter F. Anderson, chairman of the Music Department of Antioch College, play for me.

He has written the music to go with the words of my husband's D-Day Prayer. It is meant, of course, to be heard with an orchestra and chorus and, therefore, I could not get the full effect. But even the way in which I heard it was most impressive, and I feel the score will bring him recognition and appreciation among music lovers.

After that I dashed off to speak on Human Rights at the National Arts Club where I arrived very late for dinner. It was a fine audience but the loudspeaker did not like my speech and whenever I got too near it, it barked at me like an indignant little puppy.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 12, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.