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

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SAN FRANCISCO —Like most other persons in the country, I felt that the last few days have been painful, indeed. Every day the news from the Near East has been full of anxiety—anxiety for which we had not been prepared by the Administration nor by the President himself, who only a week ago told us that the news from the Near East was good.

Most of us then had some misgivings but hoped that perhaps there might be some truth in what the President was saying. Our common sense told us, however, the situation could not be as rosy as we were led to believe.

The greatest shock came when a resolution presented by the United States in the United Nations Security Council was vetoed by the two most important allies of the U.S.—Great Britain and France. How could such a thing be?

It could not be possible that our Secretary of State had let our relationships so deteriorate with our closest allies and our most important friends that we were not aware they would veto our resolution!

It could not be possible that we would present such a resolution, knowing that we would find ourselves lined up with the Soviet Union and the dictator of Egypt, against Great Britain and France and the only democratic country in the Near East—Israel! What a false and confusing situation!

If we felt our allies' position was wrong, had we lost all our influence that they would not listen to us? Something must be seriously wrong.

Then on Wednesday morning I opened a metropolitan paper to see on the front page that our Secretary of State accused our allies, Great Britain and France, of having entered into an agreement and instigated Israel's latest action in Egypt.

Again my heart sank. Did we not know whether or not our allies had entered into any such an agreement with Israel? What had happened to our relations with these two important countries in the world?

Then I read that Vice President Richard M. Nixon said in a speech that now, of course, the people of this country would decide that they must keep a tried and true general as our leader and as our President because it would be unwise to change at this crucial time to untried and poor leadership.

I could not believe my eyes! How could we have had worse leadership than that which brought us to this present situation? Do we want to continue with the kind of leadership that has led to a war in which, if we are not with our old allies, we have to side with the Kremlin and the dictator of Egypt? What a decision to have to make!

Where has our influence, which ought to help shape such decisions in the world, failed so that we find ourselves today in such a position?

I listened to the President on television and noticed that he never mentioned a most important point, namely that the Kremlin has succeeded in dividing the West and we are, indeed, weakened. Does he not realize the seriousness of the situation he and John Foster Dulles have created?

I feel sure that every woman in this country will feel it her obligation to beg her friends and neighbors—men and women, young and old—to change this leadership as quickly as possible.

I think if we elect Adlai Stevenson and Estes Kefauver next Tuesday and give them the support in the Senate and the House which they need, we will not find ourselves unexpectedly in situations of this kind. We will have a leadership which, I hope, will give us a knowledge of what conditions really exist in the world and, therefore, will ensure greater security for us and for the world as a whole.


(Copyright, 1956, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • San Francisco (Calif., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 2, 1956

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
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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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.