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


PARIS, Sunday—The telephones at the Palais Chaillot for the United Nations have not been connected up as yet, so we were unable on Friday to find out where we could reach one or two people we wanted to talk to before the opening of the General Assembly.

I paid my first visit to our own offices Friday morning and got my card of identification, which we have to carry at all times and show on going in and out of our own offices or of the United Nations building. We were told that we must be prepared to show these cards at any time on demand, as the French guards were under strict orders to allow no one to enter without identification. We were also given the usual caution not to make telephone calls on subjects that could not be discussed openly. Our rooms in the hotels will be periodically checked, but they could not assure us that devices for overhearing conversations would not be put in, and would we please remember not to discuss any questions that we could not discuss in public.

Our offices will be checked more often and in all probability our conversations there may be safer, but we must not feel too secure even there. All of these precautions are not very important to most of us, for only a few people are apt to have talks which can not be broadcast to the world at large. These few amongst us who have to be careful will be pretty well protected from prying eyes and ears in their offices and in their rooms.

Even we who are citizens of the U.S.A. and pride ourselves on being so efficient and forehanded didn't start quite early enough, and the office floors in the Hotel Astoria look slightly unprepared for us. We have desks, however, and some chairs, telephones and typewriters; and most important of all, steel-locked files, so the really necessary things are all on hand.

I was rather overwhelmed on coming to the office to find a large collection of papers and telegrams, most of them marked "secret," piled up for me to read, so I had to sit in the office and go through them. Before evening I worked my way through about three-quarters of the pile, but I still have to catch up on the rest.

Our old friends, Mr. and Mrs. James P. Hendrick, came to lunch and so did my granddaughter, Sistie. One of the photographs of us together as we sat in the car at the station on Thursday listed her as "Miss," giving us a chance to tease her a good deal about her unmarried status.

Friday afternoon, from three to five, we held our first full delegation meeting and began to discuss in detail the different positions and subjects that will come up. I got back to the Hotel Crillon about ten minutes before seven and was glad of a peaceful evening. Tomorrow we begin our early schedule. I shall leave the hotel at 9, for we were warned that the papers to be discussed would be in our offices at 9:15. Our delegation meeting will start at 10 and we are expected to read these papers before the meeting. If I have any spare time I shall go on with the neglected pile of "secret" documents. I suppose, when the mail begins to be distributed, that we will be snowed under as usual with French mail, German mail and mail from all the countries of Europe.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 5, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.