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

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En Route to NEW YORK, Monday—I read where the Senate finally has passed a bill for sending two million tons of grain to India on a loan basis.

I have always thought that all countries would prefer to receive whatever they need on the basis of reciprocal trade negotiations, and I do not think that this idea of payment in kind, to include certain raw materials, such as monazite and manganese, will be at all distasteful to the Indian government. Of course, the manner of payment, if the loan is to be paid with materials, will have to be negotiated through the Economic Cooperation Administration. The bill still has to go through the House, however, and one can only hope and pray that this will be done quickly.

I wonder if it would be more advantageous and tend to create good feeling among governments if, as soon as a government foresaw a need for certain goods, it started to make some kind of trade agreements which would provide them with the needed materials. It is, of course, difficult to foresee a flood or a drought, which leads to famine in a wide area, but too often after a catastrophe of this kind, the immediate steps on a business basis are not attempted by our various governments. Now that we have the United Nations, the attempt need not always be made only by direct contact from nation to nation. It could be made through the U.N.

These are all matters which as we develop in international cooperation and think of whatever happens throughout the world as being of concern to all of us, we will find easier to handle largely because we will be more aware of what needs there are everywhere in the world. We will be more ready to seek the answers, not only for our needs at home, but for the worldwide needs that are flashed to us from all parts of the globe.

Although most of us think we made great progress in our Human Rights Commission sessions in Geneva, the question is not yet settled whether the article of implementation, the economic, social and cultural rights shall apply only to rights, or whether any machinery which is applicable to all rights shall be made applicable also to civil and political rights. This will come at a later phase when the Covenant, as a whole, is being considered. Perhaps it will be finally decided only when it is discussed in the General Assembly.

We had many of the same discussions as we have had before on the interpretation of such articles as are in the Charter which define non interference in the domestic affairs of states.

The Soviet conception of what constitutes international cooperation was very well stated by their delegate, Mr. Morosov. I think I understood it correctly.

From their point of view, the members of the United Nations should meet to talk about subjects that will improve the conditions of the working people throughout the world, should agree as far as possible, on principles and measures that should be taken, but should then leave it entirely in the hands of the individual state to carry these out. The Russians maintain that no state should take any further interest in seeing that an undertaking of an international character was carried out after it had been agreed on except within its own borders.

Therefore, from the Soviets' point of view, any kind of international machinery for carrying out the agreements entered into is illegal under the Charter. This, of course, cannot be the point of view taken by the vast majority of the states. Most of us want very clearly defined both what we are undertaking and what measures of an international character we are willing to agree on to see that our undertakings are uniformly carried out.



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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 22, 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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