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

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HYDE PARK—It was good to read that the French soon will be back sitting regularly in the United Nations. Their vote will be again recorded and I hope there will be no more walking out of the U.N. It does not strengthen the organization when its members, particularly the more important ones, walk out. I quite understand not wanting to have domestic questions discussed, but where they touch on human rights it seems to me the only possible way.

I believe representatives should listen to a discussion and record their nation's point of view, but if they are convinced that it is a domestic question they may state that they will not accept the recommendations made.

I find that I frequently have to explain that the U.N. does not make laws. It is not like our Congress, for instance. And neither does it have, as yet, any machinery by which it could enforce its opinions. It has to rely entirely on the effect of world opinion and on conciliation and persuasion to induce nations to accept arbitration.

I think over the last 10 years all these methods of influence have been strengthened and improved. But the original groups who worked on the charter of the United Nations felt that for some time to come a police force, of real enforcement strength, would be needed.

Now, as time has gone on, I think it is more and more evident that we really need a substantial body of troops within the U.N. Without such a body of troops there will be no significant reduction in armaments, in individual nations possible; with it, many problems might seem less difficult of solution.

With such men available every nation would have a quota of troops for use within its own territorial areas, but as everybody would be knowing the exact strength of everybody else such questions as the rearmament of Germany and the selling of arms to other nations would be far less important than they are today.

There is the difficulty, of course, of the command of the U.N. force, and I think it would have to be on a rotation basis and never for too long a time in the hands of one individual so that it would be obvious that no one could build up personal power of influence in the U.N. armed police force.

Whatever one does in the area of moving from individual force to peaceful arbitration will, in the intermediate steps, be controversial and difficult. It is forced upon us, however, to find solutions to these more or less minor difficulties, since day by day we realize more clearly that a nuclear war is an impossibility.

We are having most beautiful weather here, and on Sunday morning we took the dogs—we have four of them on the place now—for a walk in the woods. They enjoyed it, and we were given a demonstration of how much keener a dog's hearing and smell can be than the ears and eyes of a human being.

My little Scottie, Duffy, began to growl as we were walking along the road and I could see nothing—no deer, no birds, no people. The Welsh terrier puppy, who belongs to my grandchildren, followed along behind Duffy, looking as bewildered as I was. Evidently he was not trained to detect strangers in the offing.

But within a few minutes three horses ridden by children came cantering along, and I realized that Duffy, who has a keen dislike for horses, had scented his enemies and was all prepared to yap at their heels as long as possible.


(Copyright, 1955, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 29, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.