My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

PARIS, Tuesday—The accounts coming from Tokyo from the Supreme Allied Commander's Headquarters of the way the Communists are behaving in the truce talks does not sound as though they were grown up.

You feel that they are acting like badly behaved children who are trying to annoy their elders, without being definitely banished from the scene.

Here in the United Nations, of course, we are constantly being told that the allies do not really want a truce, but as you read the day-to–day accounts you feel that the Communists have no interest in having an armistice and in being obliged to negotiate a peace.

No matter what the Communist representatives propose, if they insist on continuing with unlimited airfield construction no proposal will ever be accepted for a cease-fire. Apparently, this airfield question is the one major difficulty, and it is quite evident that we could not permit the building up of an air force on the Communist side while the rest of us were planning to evacuate.

Of course, I can well understand that they are anxious in their negotiations to prevent unification of Korea unless it can be unified as a Communist country. That, of course, will be consistently opposed by the South Koreans and the U.N. forces. The U.N. aim is that Korea may be in the future a stabilizing factor and an example of democratic government in that area of the world.

* * *

We had a most amusing little incident in Committee Three the other day. Dr. Van Heuven Goedhart, the High Commissioner for Refugees, managed to get a grant from the Rockefeller Foundation for a survey of refugees to be made wherever they are found in the world.

Though this survey was not complete, a preliminary report was published by the UN of the work done by the group so far. There are a number of inaccuracies in this report, according to the complaint of a considerable number of delegates, and naturally it would be the desire of everyone concerned to correct any inaccuracies.

The amusing little incident occurred during a speech made by the Russian delegate, Mr. Pavolov. He does not think there should be a High Commissioner for refugees; so, of course, there should be no book. And in his speech against it he said, "Everyone knows this fellow Rockefeller. No one could have any confidence in a book which he financed."

I could not help smiling, because I thought of the solemn board that probably had considered the grant, and how surprised Mr. Rockefeller would be if he were told that he had anything to do with this book.

It is a little thing like this that makes one realize how little our Soviet friends really know. They get much information, they do excellent propaganda; but every now and then they slip up and you realize that they have no understanding of certain very elementary things which they would soon know about if they ever mingled as friends among us.

E. R.