My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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TOKYO—At one of the women's meetings I attended some time ago, the following questions were asked and I thought my readers at home would like to know what the line of thinking is in an Asian country.

1. How strong is the isolationism represented by Mr. Taft in the Republican Party? Is it possible it might eventually lead to a break with the U.N.?

In answer to that, there is nothing for me to say except that as a Democrat, I know very little about the policies of the Republican Party or their popularity but I certainly hope the U.S. will always remain a loyal member of the U.N..

2. Has there ever been a movement in the U.N. for an internationalized Suez Canal? Would it not be a good idea?

To this I responded I had never heard of such a movement but I thought it was too early to talk about this since, if you internationalize one canal, you would probably have to internationalize canals all over the world and I did not think many nations were ready to consider this.

3. Would there not be some advantage in having Communist China in the U.N. where she can be influenced toward a larger internationalism? Would it not hasten a possible break with Russia?

To this the obvious answer is that until a peace settlement is effected, covering the whole Asian situation, there can be no consideration of membership for a participant in the Korean war. Members of the U.N. have to be peace loving nations and it seems to me that it will be some time before this question can come up for consideration and discussion.

4. What do you think would be the probable result if Russia and her satellites would withdraw from the U.N.?

The simple answer is that there would be no more U.N.. One would have to go back to the old balance of power and there would be no chance of ever achieving strength within the U.N. and gradual disarmament throughout the world. This can only be carried out within the U.N..

The League of Nations failed when nations began to play politics and one nation after another withdrew. We are hoping someday to see every nation in the world a member of the U.N. and thereby make it a strong organization in which the weight of world opinion is quickly felt.

On Sunday evening the British Ambassador dined with us at the hotel and my young cousin, Sonny Milholland, brought two friends. I was happy to have the opportunity to talk with the Ambassador and get some news of my friend, Lady Reading, who spent a few days with him here after her very strenuous visit to Korea last spring.

Monday morning we met with some of the leading members of different parties in the Diet. I found it a most interesting hour and a half as many parties and interests were represented.

Afterwards the president of the Council, which is the Upper House, took us to the Emperor's room where the Emperor waits when he comes to the opening ceremony of the Diet, then into the next room where the Imperial family waits and finally we went to the chamber of the Upper House.

The Emperor's throne is above the President's seat and he sits so that he has a good view of the entire room. Otherwise the chamber looked much like the chamber of any other parliament.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Tokyo (Japan) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 23, 1953

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.