APRIL 29, 1955
NEW YORK—It was gratifying to read over the past week that so many national leaders of the Far East, as well as of Africa, revealed a keen understanding of communism and had the fortitude to express their opposition to it. This fact was brought out clearly in the news reports and commentary on the recent Afro-Asian Conference in Bandung, Indonesia.
I hope it will be possible for us soon to hold a conference under conditions that we think fair that would bring about peaceful settlements of the problems that face the world in the Asiatic area. It is safe, to say, however, that there are a good many difficulties involved and that both sides will have to exercise a great amount of self-restraint. And neither side can afford to be rigid if any results are to be obtained.
I was somewhat surprised to read that Prime Minister Nehru, who greatly desires peace in the world, as we do, should be so unrealistic as to advocate wiping out the use of all atomic weapons without any preliminary steps. As far as I could tell from the newspaper reports, what he advocated would leave the Soviets and Communist China, since they have the greater manpower, in complete control of the world.
I would like to see complete disarmament throughout the world, but I realize it must come by stages. Before we can wipe out the weapons that give the free world some semblance of equality at present, we must create a greater equality on the levels of ordinary weapons and limit the amount of men kept under arms and the amount of production of arms allowed for such purposes as domestic policing.
Even then, I think the United Nations should be the custodian of what few atomic weapons would be permitted, so that in case of aggression anywhere the U.N. would have the only force that could create great havoc. Therefore, the U.N. would be supreme.
No matter what is done, there has to be agreement on international inspection. Otherwise, force could be built up without the knowledge of other nations and those who lived up loyally to their commitments might suddenly find that they were at a disadvantage.
It seems to me, therefore, that atomic disarmament is not a problem as simple as Prime Minister Nehru seems to think. The steps must be worked out carefully and proper safeguards for all nations must be provided.
Last Sunday at Hyde Park I found a delightful record that was produced in the public interest by the Westinghouse Broadcasting Company in cooperation with the National Association for Mental Health.
The recording is called "Sing-Along for Mental Health" and Dr. William C. Menninger of Topeka, Kansas, says it is "a very imaginative approach to public education for mental health. The combination of catchy tunes and clever thought-provoking lyrics should be very helpful in introducing the concept of mental health to large numbers of people in a simple, wholesome, memorable way."
The music is by Lou Singer and the lyrics are by Hy Zaret, and I think you will find the recording easy to listen to. Mental health is one of the really important matters that all of us should study. Anything that is done to bring it to popular attention is of value.
(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 29, 1955
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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