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


NEW YORK, Thursday—I have said nothing in this column as yet about Senator William Knowland's position in regard to admitting Red China into the United Nations. I feel that the Senator's recent statement should be considered very carefully by every citizen.

If a Senator or a group of Senators make the announcement that under no circumstances will Red China ever be recognized diplomatically by the United States or recognized as a member of the U.N. while we remain in that organization, I think we are behaving like the child who says, "If I can't have my own way, I'll take my toys and go home."

No one has suggested that any country at war with the U.N. should be accepted for membership; and there are qualifications which nations must show they are at least trying to achieve before they can become members. But we are negotiating for a peaceful Asia, we hope for peace in Korea, we hope for peace in Indo-China and in the whole area of Burma and Malaya and Thailand. If we are to be successful, we must negotiate from strength.

And announcing beforehand that there are certain things we will not accept seems to me immature. To speak in this way gives no real leeway to our negotiations. And yet we are dealing with matters which require great forethought and statesmanship, because to settle things by negotiation is sometimes much harder than to settle them by force.

Everyone knows that any war in which H-bombs are used will be a war of complete destruction. Those who talk of engaging in a preventive war—which would cause great destruction to other innocent people—either hope that we could do it so fast that we ourselves would not be touched, or they are willing to accept the fact that there would be a considerable amount of destruction here also but that some of us might survive if we had the greatest destructive power. This seems to me a poor way to use our great abilities.

We should be able to achieve our ends peacefully, at least as successfully as the Soviets have done. Are they the only ones with brains enough to think ahead and plan? Democracy has far more to offer people than Communism has, and yet we seem to have given up the idea that, in the battle of wits, we can win and win peacefully.

I hope Senator Knowland will revise his position and agree that we should not give the U.N. over to the Communists, that we should stay in, and that the democratic forces of the world, led by us, will in the end achieve a peaceful settlement.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 9, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.