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

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NEW YORK—Withdrawal by the Soviet Union of its United Nations Security Council resolution concerning nuclear-armed United States planes can be understood only as a tactical move to obtain what the Soviets were asking for in any case—time to study the statements made during the debate.

This has not removed the Soviet charges from the council agenda and the Soviet delegate, Arkady A. Sobolev, can at any time call for a meeting to resume the debate. Then he could reintroduce his resolution in the council or, if dropped from that agenda, bring it up in the General Assembly.

Mr. Sobolev may believe his statement that the U.S. really wants a preventive war. But it is hard to accept the premise that such intelligent people as the Soviet leaders really are convinced that any country, with a knowledge of what retaliation would mean, would consider a preventive war against such limited targets as were published in the New York Times.

Nothing short of complete destruction of all power of retaliation would make any sense at all.

Our Strategic Air Command insists that the flights of our planes in the Arctic are not in any way dangerous to the Soviets. I think it would be valuable to demonstrate for the Security Council how we are enforcing safeguards against an unauthorized attack. Certainly the U.N. would be anxious to know that no such risks are being taken by any country in the world.

Is it essential to training for our planes to carry nuclear bombs? That is a question I would like to have answered.

Premier Nikita S. Khrushchov's speech at the Polish Embassy reception in Moscow a few days ago must have been meant primarily for consumption in the Soviet Union.

His metaphor of a "spitting camel" was hardly appropriate for a cocktail party. And, of course, the Soviet people must be told that we are anxious to start a war or the fear which makes them forego so many of the pleasant things in life would gradually be worn away and they would want to live better, free of fear.

The day may come when we can try peaceably to persuade the uncommitted nations of the world that freedom has value and that under freedom much that is worthwhile can be accomplished. Then the Soviet Union can do the same for communism, enabling us to see whether certain material values can be achieved only under communism.

If this should be a contest carried on peaceably, it must be conducted in the open, with both sides aware of what the other is saying and doing. I am willing to say to the Soviet leaders what I believe and say to my own people, and I think that is the way to live together in peace.


(Copyright, 1958, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 24, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.