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

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NEW YORK—I am sure no one was surprised at the news that Mr. Bulganin has been replaced as Prime Minister by Mr. Khrushchev. Our own officials stated at once that they expected no change in Russian policy.

Mr. Khrushchev now holds the same positions that Stalin held during his lifetime, which means that he is in complete control of policy and that the people will look to him to alleviate their troubles and to meet their complaints. In actual fact, probably very little change has come about. While Bulganin has signed notes that have gone out from the Soviet Union to foreign countries, Krushchev has undoubtedly been the author. The only difference now will be that Khrushchev will openly take responsibility for what he has said.

We seem to have a bipartisan approach on the Reciprocal Trade treaties. Both the President and Adlai Stevenson have spoken before a day-long rally in favor of renewing these treaties. And both tried to bring home the fact that these treaties had a bearing on American prosperity and American jobs.

Although our foreign trade is a small percentage of the overall trade of the country, it is this percentage which is important to the whole picture. On the diplomatic side, these treaties have strengthened our power of leadership in the world. As I have pointed out before, the economic situation is one of the areas where the Soviets are pushing their plan for world control by Communism. The Reciprocal Trade treaties are part of our whole foreign policy. The more we trade with the nations of Asia, Africa and South America, the more they feel the value of our friendship and the need for the help which that friendship brings in building up their own strength at home. They will never have stable governments until their own economic situations are more stable. The Soviets have recognized this and are moving to bolster their campaign for world Communism through economic aid. Every time we neglect our economic ties we give the Soviets an advantage. I hope that the people of our country will understand that Reciprocal Trade treaties are one of the ways we try to help nations who are not yet economically developed enough to stand on their own feet.

At the conference on disarmament held at Arden House recently, many phases of possible action toward this end were discussed. After I left, however, I was told that there is a growing fear in many countries that the sharing of atomic secrets with many smaller nations of the world might well mean great danger.

The more people possess these dreaded secrets, the more will they be tempted to use them. It has been felt so far that the great nations, fully aware of the terrific destruction that could be brought about, would avoid using atomic power for warlike purposes and try to turn it to useful ends. A frightened small nation, however, might be tempted to act secretly and quickly in order to obtain a particular objective, and in so doing might unleash disastrous consequences.

It would therefore seem better for a time to share only such things as can be used for the good of mankind. This, we know, is a difficult thing to do, since nearly all materials involved can be used in both ways. So it may well be that for the present these secrets had better remain in as few hands as possible.

E. R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 1, 1958

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.