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

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GENEVA, Friday—The Paris edition of the New York Herald Tribune seemed strangely heavy on Wednesday and I found that there was a special supplement on Morocco. I have never been in North Africa, but during World War II and since, Casablanca, Marakesh and Rabat have become familiar names.

My husband always enjoyed telling about his visit to the sultan and in 1948 I remember having a talk with one of the delegates and telling him what an interest my husband took in what might be done to improve the agriculture of the country and to bring water to desert lands both in North Africa and in Arabia. I learned that the delegate to whom I was talking had visited at my husband's suggestion our TVA development and I hope that someday we will see vast improvements in many of the Arab lands where the economic condition of the people has been at such a low ebb.

In the supplement one reads only of the resources and products of Morocco, of its beauty, its scenery and old buildings, and of the wonderful climate that attracts visitors who can be housed in the most modern hotels.

The pictures almost made me want to start off on my homeward journey via Morocco, but I decided that that would be rather a roundabout way.

I think it is remarkable how our consular people in Geneva manage their task of welcoming strangers. Everyone who arrives is made to feel that he is a special guest carefully looked after! And that the consulate is there to be of service. Yet when I see the steady stream of Americans who come here officially for the meetings and conferences at the United Nations headquarters, and I realize that there must be many more who come on business or just as tourists, I simply do not see how the organization runs so smoothly.

The consul general, R.E. Ward Jr., who is fairly young, has been here a rather short time but everything seems to run like clockwork.

The press and information officer, James McFarland, seems to be imbued with the same enthusiasm about Switzerland that Mr. Ward has about his part of the job. I learned the other day that the consulate has a cultural attache who, with the help of Mr. Ward and Mr. McFarland, is bringing to the Swiss a knowledge of American music. This is certainly new. There is an organization, called the Swiss-American Friends of Music, that gives concerts at fairly frequent intervals which are well attended by large groups of young people. I am told that our American symphonies are being played here now and that young American artists not only are performing at concerts but are winning prizes.

I wish someone would invent a way by which one could get away from all procedural struggles in the bodies such as the meetings of the United Nations or Congressional and parliamentary groups.

We spent most of last Wednesday wrangling on points of procedures, and in the late afternoon I looked up to see Senator Lehman sitting on the sidelines, watching our commission work. I thought I saw a gleam of recognition in his eye when he realized some of the maneuvers that were being carried on.

It is fortunate for us that Dr. Charles Malik is such an experienced presiding officer. We have no dearth of parliamentary knowledge, since Herman Santa Cruz, who is president of the Economic and Social Council, is on hand to give us the benefit of his parliamentary experience at critical moments.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Geneva (Switzerland) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 12, 1951

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.