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

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NEW YORK—Quite naturally the people of the United States regret the tone of the reply sent by Premier Chou En-lai in response to United Nations Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold's invitation to participate in cease-fire talks. The Communist Chinese Premier's answer to the U.N. bid for discussions in its drive to secure peace in the Far East was an attack upon U.S. policy in defending Formosa.

I suppose it was to be expected that the Communist Chinese government would consider the defense of any part of Asia against further Communist aggression was in itself an aggressive action. Yet, as everyone knows, there is absolutely no threat to the integrity of the Chinese mainland in the decision made to prevent communism from spreading beyond the territory now controlled by the Communists.

It is true that the island of Formosa was acknowledged as a part of China, but that was before the mainland was overrun by the Communist forces in China. Once that had happened, naturally the area to which non-Communist forces had retreated became an area which must be defended by the non-Communist world against aggression.

Both the Soviet Union and Communist China should recognize the fact that no one intends to interfere with them within the borders that they now control. On the other hand, the rest of the non-Communist world does not intend to have Russia and Red China swallow up little by little other areas of the world, nor do they intend to have them, through infiltration, gradually induce more areas of the world to develop discontent at home and eventual revolution.

We are making a very concerted attempt to try to bring about a peaceful world within which people may live together in spite of differences of economy and political beliefs, but we cannot sit by quietly and see new areas swallowed up by constant Communist aggression.

To take Formosa would be the beginning of the use of force by the Communist Chinese. It is true that Communist China has not as yet taken over satellites in the manner of the Soviet Union, but it might easily become a practice of the Chinese Communist government, as it has become a habit on the part of the government of the Soviet Union.

There is certainly no desire on the part of the U.S. to bring about active war, but if we are to have a world with some kind of security there must be some understanding of the fact that communism cannot spread beyond its present boundaries and territorial ambitions.

I have been the happy recipient of a copy of the biography of Gertrude Lawrence, written by her husband, Richard S. Aldrich. No one who knew Gertrude Lawrence could help being fond of her, and this book will be read with the greatest of pleasure. She was a great artist and star in the theatre, but she was also a delightful person and very happy and successful as "Mrs. A."

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 8, 1955

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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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.