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


NEW YORK, Friday—We welcome to our shores Prime Minister Sir Winston Churchill and Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden of Great Britain. There has been lately a growing divergence of opinion on international questions between our State Department and these two gentlemen responsible for Britain's foreign policy.

Prime Minister Churchill has reached an age when he does not undertake such a journey except for reasons of great importance. He must feel that the need for a meeting of minds is great and that it could not be brought about except by face-to-face conversation.

We should appreciate deeply the sense of duty and consideration which has brought this great man to consult with us here in our own country. I think we should realize also that we have the opportunity to profit by his long experience, which perhaps has given him a greater understanding of the area of the world that is causing us the greatest trouble at the present time.

The problems of Asia which are before us now are very complex. Negotiation means discussion of varying points of view, with an effort to reconcile opposing ideas and finally to resolve the difficulties by concessions on both sides.

In the past, the United States has often been annoyed by what we considered Britain's arrogance—their assumption that they knew more than any other country and that their wisdom could not be questioned. And sometimes we felt that they were reminding us that it was their fleet and their power that was making the world safe.

Now the situation is somewhat reversed and we are thought to be arrogant by the British. We are the ones who are accused of insisting on our point of view and not listening to anyone else. We are the ones who are said not to profit by the ideas of others.

In the present meeting I hope that there can be a willingness on both sides to listen to each other's points of view, and also to bear in mind the views of other nations which have communicated their ideas to our statesmen.

The whole world is in trouble. Some people in this country have given the impression that there is no way out but a third world war and that we had better act accordingly. I think a third world war would mean that we would be reduced to the conditions confronting other nations at the present time, and that those others would suffer again what they have suffered before.

Self-preservation dictates that the wisest heads try to find a way whereby negotiations, rather than destruction, will shape the future.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 26, 1954

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.