DECEMBER 21, 1956
NEW YORK —It was certainly gratifying to have Japan elected as the 80th member of the United Nations by a 77-0 vote. That country's application was sponsored by 51 nations and two others, Hungary and South Africa, were absent, so the 77 nations that voted for the admission of Japan made it unanimous.
Our congratulations go to the Japanese government. We are sure that it will feel a great responsibility in being elected a member of the U.N. and will bring great dignity to that organization.
I read with interest Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' proposal that the Soviets permit its satellites of East Europe to become genuinely "independent nations."
There is no doubt that if the Soviets were inclined to do this, certain obvious gains would accrue to them as well as to the satellites. The satellites would be freer, but so long as they depended solely upon their own arms for defense, they would be no menace to the Soviet Union or their neighbors in Western Europe. And as a result, there would be a genuine buffer area.
On the other hand, there would be no assurance that once the military hold of the Soviets on East Europe was loosened, the satellites could be relied upon always to be on the side of the Soviet Union.
Russia is accustomed to having acquiescence from its satellites on whatever point of view it takes on any subject in the U.N. It would be difficult and highly unacceptable for the Soviet Union to find itself in the position of Great Britain where her dominions do not always vote with her in the U.N.
Most attractive inducement by Dulles to bring about this change in Soviet policy was his statement that while at present we cannot cut our troop strength in Europe, such a change in Soviet policy might bring a revision in the attitude of the United States.
More of an inducement, perhaps, than the reduction of American armed forces in Europe would be the hope of trade between the U.S., and the West generally, and the satellite countries.
For if trade with the West could be opened up, there is no question but what the economic situation in Poland, Hungary and the other satellites would improve, thereby improving the economy of the Soviet Union.
Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru's speech Tuesday night was his first use on this trip of mass communication with the people of the United States. He spoke most kindly of the President, and what he said of his own country undoubtedly helped people in this country to understand India.
When the Prime Minister talked of freedom and the devotion of India to the democratic way, I am sure he was talking of things about which he feels deeply.
On the two questions that have been in the forefront of our thinking in the past months, Hungary and Egypt, he was not as convincing as in the rest of his talk.
But it is natural that he places more emphasis on certain phases of these situations than others do, just as it is natural for him to explain his meaning of neutrality and his devotion to non-aggression and non-interference by one country in the affairs of another in the light of his own hopes and beliefs.
We welcome Prime Minister Nehru warmly to this country and hope that out of his brief visit will come a greater understanding, of the Prime Minister himself and of his country which will be helpful to all of us.
(Copyright, 1956, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 21, 1956
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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