My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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SAN MARCOS, Texas —I notice in a recent newspaper article that Prime Minister Nehru feels strongly that it would be well if neither the U.S. nor the Soviet Union gave or sold any arms to a Near Eastern nation. I do not know that his plan is exactly similar to the plan which the Soviet Union itself is now proposing but I am not surprised that the Indian government should grasp at this proposal as it seems somewhat near their own point of view. Holding this viewpoint they of course are not in favor of the Eisenhower doctrine but it seems to me they should see that the Eisenhower doctrine has not done anything more than serve notice that if the Soviet Union attacks with military force a country in the Near East, such a move would be met with force by the U.S. This does not mean that any military move will take place on either side and would not prevent the agreement which India is proposing from coming into force if the two countries, the U.S. and the U.S.S.R., would consider such an agreement. Whether the desired results could be obtained if such an agreement could be made between the Soviet Union and the U.S. seems to me rather doubtful since the Soviet Union could arrange to have arms moved from any one of its satellites and we could arrange to have anyone of the Western European countries supply arms. Perhaps the only really effective way would be to have in the U.N. a resolution that no further arms would be supplied to any nations in that area of the world from any quarter whatsoever. Whether this could be done or not, of course is questionable, but one thing is true that was said by India, namely, "That a big responsibility rested on the powerful nations to see that progressive forces in the Middle East were helped in the peaceful realization of their national aspirations." This is a recognition, I think, that only by raising the standard of living at the bottom of the social ladder can we hope to begin to bring any kind of change in the lives of the people of this area of the world.

Moscow seems to be making it a practice to expel Americans at the present time. A third reporter, this one a correspondent of INS, has been told he must leave and the military members of our embassy staffs have been coming home quite constantly. This is no way to increase goodwill.

Moscow suffered a setback in the U.N. a day or so ago when the world body rejected the debate on the Moscow charges of aggression by the U.S. Moscow likes to call us an imperialist nation but it seems that it has become evident to most of the delegates in the U.N. that Moscow itself is practicing imperialism.

India, Jordan and Egypt voted with the Communist group and among those who abstained were Afghanistan, Ceylon, Finland, Indonesia, Morocco, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia and Yemen. A careful study of the abstentions should be made by our administration since we have just been talking to the King of Saudi Arabia and we cannot have persuaded him to be very much on our side, and some other nations should not be on that abstention list if our position with them were as friendly as it is supposed to be.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • San Marcos (TX, United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 20, 1957

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 draft version of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. My Day column draft dated February 19, 1957, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY
TMsd, 19 February 1957, AERP, FDRL