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

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—Now that I am home again I have decided to sum up some of the questions asked me quite frequently by Americans and by people in different countries which I have visited.

First of all: "Have you seen any great change as a result of the Marshall Plan in the countries that you visited previous to its inauguration and now?" Yes, I think that much of the progress which has been made is due to the aid which has been available because of the Marshall Plan. Nothing is ever 100 per cent, but I think that the nations have made the best possible use of these funds for rehabilitation, hoping to be able to stand on their own feet in a competitive world.

Another question asked me many times was whether I thought the pact between Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg was a good idea, and whether I felt that a United States of Europe would someday come about and, if so, how could it ever be achieved? First of all, I do think the pact with Belgium, Holland and Luxembourg is really useful. They are countries of similar interests, and they can be of assistance to one another. Next, I think we are asking a good deal when we expect a United States of Europe to emerge immediately. But, the Schuman plan points a way for an economic cooperation which is possible and, which may gradually bring about greater political understanding and integration.

In the meantime the factor that is vital for Europe is economic cooperation, and many thoughtful Europeans feel that the Schuman plan is the first sign of European initiative along these lines. I am sure that because of this it will be an encouragement to many observers in the United States. Therefore I hope it will work out, and that Great Britain will find a way to cooperate, even though she may have to make some special arrangements or reservations in participating.

I have been asked frequently whether I felt the Atlantic Pact was a workable proposition. I think this question arose because, primarily, Europeans are not quite sure what role the United States is prepared to play in the Atlantic Pact. Some people are not very sure as to whether this Pact is clearly within the United Nations Charter. Since the Korean episode I feel, however, that there will be an even greater appreciation for the need of the Atlantic Pact, which is clearly permitted by the Charter and, which does not preclude any nation with similar interests from joining. It is also clear that such a regional pact may be abolished when the day comes that all nations are in agreement on subjects which previously have been agreed upon only by those in a specific area. The Korean episode has, of course, made people look back into past history, and many of them see in Korea a similarity to what happened in Manchuria when the Japanese took over. As indeed does Senator Taft's attack on our Secretary of State indicate. He evidently thinks there was some similarity between the Korean situation and the situation in China. This, of course, is obviously not so.

The people of Northern Korea invaded Southern Korea where a free election had been held. Had the United Nations permitted this to go on their weakness would have been comparable only to the weakness of the League of Nations in its last days and, a United Nations mission would have found its task impossible from now on anywhere in the world. I think the United Nations acted in the only way that was possible, and the nations responding and upholding it did the only thing that was possible for them. In so doing the free nations today have taken a stand which may strengthen our chance for peace, and eventually bring about a better understanding between the Eastern European nations and the democracies of the world.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 6, 1950

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.