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


HYDE PARK, Tuesday—The Paris Herald Tribune last week ran a photograph which I hope was reproduced in the United States, because it illustrates so well the different attitudes as they are taken at the present time in some of the debates in the United Nations.

In the photograph, Mr. Vishinsky is looking infuriated and pointing his finger, across a rather embarrassed Selwyn Lloyd, at Congressman Mansfield, who looks as calm and cool as a cucumber. The more outrageous the Soviet thesis, the more violent they get in their remarks and their gestures. Somehow they seem to think that the way they say something and the way they act will make people believe them, instead of which I think it makes people see more clearly how embarrassed they are and how upset they are as vote after vote proves to them that they have the majority of world opinion against them.

The picture shows Selwyn Lloyd, the United Kingdom representative, looking down with his hand over his mouth. The Soviet behavior is highly embarrassing to him and Mr. Lloyd is new at this sort of thing. He is an able representative and I am sure the idea that he has to sit and watch the kind of show put on by the USSR delegate is highly distasteful to him. It doesn't embarrass Congressman Mansfield. He has been told about it and he has seen quite a bit of it in this session, but it doesn't impress him either. No doubt there are people in the Congress of the United States who can put on a good melodramatic show, but back of Mr. Mansfield's calm and quiet exterior you can always see his very alert and keen intelligence at work. I'd like to have this particular Congressman with me if I were fighting for something really good, and I'd hate to have him against me.

The Soviet methods, at the same time, can be met with patience. Before adjournment of a recent meeting, the Soviet delegate asked for the right of reply to things that had been said against his country. I promptly asked for the right to reply again, which drew laughter from delegates all over the room. The Soviet delegate reminded us that one could not ask the right of reply until one heard the speech, since there might not be anything in it to which one would want to reply. He admonished the chairman that she could not, according to the rules, grant me the right to reply.

This being entirely true, I at once said that I would gladly wait to hear his speech and for the decision of the chair after it, and I would hope I would find myself not asking for the right of a reply. As I went out I spoke to Mr. Pavlov and remarked it would certainly be a pleasure not to have to reply. Bitter as have been some of his attacks and unpleasant as have been some of the replies which I have made, we still manage to keep the amenities going on a personal basis, and I think that is what one should try to do.

This is slow work, trying to convince the USSR that we are forced to rearm by them and that we have no aggressive intentions against the Soviet Union. But I think we must stick to it, for one never knows what may gradually seep in and bear fruit.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 26, 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.