NOVEMBER 1, 1957
NEW YORK —I had the pleasure a few days ago of seeing, in addition to a number of my old friends and colleagues from the United Nations, several doctors who had come here from the Soviet Union to attend medical conferences and to observe our medical organization.
In talking with these doctors, I came to the conclusion that we were making it none too easy for the visiting medical men from the Soviet Union to show some of their recent advances in medicine with the thought that they might be interesting to us.
When I was in Moscow a short time ago, one of the medical colleges displayed a little gadget with several functions for holding arteries during an operation. It was a most complicated and interesting feat of engineering.
Two surgeons from the Soviet Union brought over this gadget to demonstrate and to show with it a film picturing some experiments they have been making. They apparently were disappointed to find that there was little interest here in what they were able to show and willing to share.
I feel that the more it is possible for plain people on different levels in the Soviet Union and the United States to get together on mutual interests and establish some kind of exchange and communication, the more chance we have of developing peaceful solutions to political problems between the two countries.
Our newspapers have been full of conjectures in the past few days as to what Marshall Georgi K. Zhukov's removal from the Minister of Defense position may mean. And there is no question that in the future the handling of political situations in the Soviet Union will seem to us not only strange but at times ominous.
So it may be that the only way to improve what certainly is a disquieting situation between the two countries should come on the level of people-to-people contacts. Therefore, we should be interested when persons come from the Soviet Union looking for an exchange of ideas or of knowledge.
It was encouraging to note in a newspaper report that Henry Cabot Lodge believed that in another two weeks there will be a two-thirds majority in the U.N. Assembly supporting a disarmament resolution proposed by 23 countries, of which the U.S. is one.
This resolution calls for immediate suspension of the testing of nuclear weapons under international control. It would stop the production of fissionable materials for military purposes and reduce the stock of nuclear weapons. Armed forces would be reduced and a ground and aerial inspection system established. The plan also calls for a study to make certain that objects sent through outer space be confined to peaceful aims.
The Soviet Union presented counter-proposals, but they do not seem to be so very different that some compromises cannot be reached.
I hope the Mr. Lodge's optimism is grounded in fact. It would be heartening to the people of the world to see the first real steps taken toward partial disarmament, at least.
(Copyright, 1957, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 1, 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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