JULY 26, 1957
NEW YORK — Everyone in this country should have listened to Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' speech on disarmament. I hope those who didn't hear it will at least read the newspaper accounts very carefully.
It would appear that the Administration and the President have proposed to the London disarmament conference certain concepts of arms control that Congress may not, as yet, be ready to accept. Since Congress is in close touch with the people, it is important that all of us be fully informed about the nature of these proposals, so that we can bring our influence to bear on the members of Congress.
Otherwise, if the proposals were suddenly accepted by the Soviet Union, the Administration might find itself in the difficult position of being unable to get the consent of Congress to the disarmament controls our negotiators proposed.
Some Congressmen, for instance, are at present very much opposed to aerial inspection of our whole country in return for aerial inspection over the entire Soviet Union. To be secure, however, we must be able to inspect all of the vast Soviet territory—and it is only fair that they, in turn, should be able to inspect our entire area.
For years now, many wise people have been troubled by the fact that before much longer it will be possible for all nations—even very small ones—to develop nuclear weapons. That would place a dangerous destructive power in what sometimes might be irresponsible hands. So it is essential that we reach some kind of an agreement on the control of atomic weapons, and confine the increasing use of nuclear power to peaceful purposes only.
If we do not want all nations, small as well as large, developing atomic weapons, there will have to be agreements whereby the three powers now controlling those weapons will provide them to countries whose security is threatened. We have already agreed to supply nuclear weapons to our allies in NATO, when necessary for their defense, so the principal is not a new one.
The education of the public begun by Mr. Dulles last Monday night should be continued until there is complete understanding of what the Administration's disarmament policy is, and why it is as it is. And we, in turn, must "educate" Congress as to our feelings, for we are the ones who will suffer from the results of any lack of understanding, by the Congress, as to the importance of disarmament agreements to our future.
I came to New York last Monday to attend another screening session in connection with the Selznick Awards. The films are shown to the judges at the Museum of Modern Art, and I must say I enjoyed the session very much. A Japanese film which was shown seemed to me very wonderful, and so did a short, altogether delightful French film.
Tuesday afternoon and evening I attended a board meeting of the American Association for the United Nations.
(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 26, 1957
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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