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

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NEW YORK, Sunday—I am somewhat troubled about a recent statement signed by 169 prominent citizens, in which they ask for the "widening of NATO." According to newspaper stories, these prominent citizens represent eight of the 14 countries belonging to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization. They make the statement that "defense in today's terms extends beyond military requirements and into the political and cultural aspects of our lives."

This is perfectly true, but NATO was designed for the military aspects. The other aspects, it seems to me, must center in the United Nations.

What happens in Europe is of concern to Asia, Africa, South America. The only world body is the U.N. If we establish "a committee to promote further organization of NATO within each country" consisting of people from the various legislatures of the countries, we establish something that already exists in the U.N. on a broader scale.

I refused to sign as a citizen of the United States because this development seemed to me to go beyond what the U.N. charter envisioned as regional arrangements. And it takes away strength from the U.N. whenever the great nations ignore or bypass it.

When arrangements can be made outside the U.N. on a diplomatic level, it still seems to me that they should be referred, before final acceptance by individual nations, to the U.N. Any such agreements should be registered at the U.N. and copies sent to the member nations so that all may be informed of them.

Either we really want the U.N. to work or we are trying, little by little, to whittle it down to an unimportant organization. That, I think, would be a tragedy for the world and for the opportunity of peace in the world.

Newspapers recently quoted Senator Joseph McCarthy as saying that he will never disclose "who gave him money to fight Communism." What is there shameful about having given anyone money to fight Communism? Why should anyone want to hide his or her contributions? I would suppose they would be proud to be listed as having contributed to such a good cause.

Is not the Senator, however, putting himself in the same position as those who refuse to give the lists of their contributors when the organization is in question as perhaps supporting a too-liberal or Communist position? Either it should be right always to give the names of subscribers or one should always be left free to make a personal decision. It cannot be right in one case and wrong in the other.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 11, 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.