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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON—Last Saturday I took the Minister for Social Services of the Soviet Union, Mme. Muraveva, to visit Wiltwyck, which is an experimental school for delinquent younger boys in New York. Mme. Muraveva is presently a delegate from the Soviet Union serving on Committee 3 during this session of the General Assembly.

There is nothing like Wiltwyck in the Soviet Union; over there they meet their problems in different ways. And while I think perhaps their efforts at helping emotionally disturbed children and preventing such conditions may be more successful than ours, I firmly believe our children's courts are more effective than their type of court situation as I understand it.

Mme. Muraveva has a real interest in people, especially in children, which is one of the reasons probably that social services have progressed in the Soviet Union.

Last Sunday evening I saw the first of a series of TV programs, called "Small World" and put on Mr. Edward Murrow on CBS, and I found it most interesting.

Mr. Thomas E. Dewey, in Portland, Maine; Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru, in New Delhi, India; Mr. Aldous Huxley, in Turin, Italy; and Mr. Murrow, in New York, carried on a spontaneous four-way conversation.

To us in America probably the most interesting development of this TV meeting was Mr. Dewey's suggestion that the Quemoy-Matsu issue should go before the International Court of Justice. Mr. Nehru made a very valid point in this connection, however, when he pointed out that the World Court is an organ of the United Nations and that it is impossible to ask the Communist government of China, which is not a member of the U.N. and has not been granted recognition there, to abide by a decision of the International Court.

"Either they (the Communist Chinese Government) must have a place in the United Nations," Mr. Nehru said, "or they should ignore the U.N. as they have been doing."

Mr. Nehru does not ignore the fact that to be a new member of the U.N. a nation must at least prove that it is striving to be a peace-loving nation. And Communist China has not as yet, so far as I know, withdrawn its troops from North Korea or North Vietnam. At the same time, both the Communist Chinese, and evidently India, feel that the recent bombing of Quemoy and Matsu, in which many innocent people lost their lives, is a purely domestic issue, since Dr. V.K. Krishna Menon, India's chief delegate to the U.N., has said that all of China is one.

The realities of the situation have to come to the surface now, and then there must be an acknowledgment of the fact that there has existed for a number of years a government-in-exile, and it may well be that the government of these islands where that government-in-exile has ruled would prefer some solution other than being incorporated in Communist China.

Even if you begin shooting your own people in your own country in these enlightened days, I think we can safely call these shootings aggressive action. Some people will say this is aggressive action on the part of their own recalcitrant citizens. Others will say it is aggressive action toward a group that does not like the type of government that is largely prevalent in a greater area of their own country.

In any case, I am glad there is a cease-fire for the sake of the poor civilians on these islands, and I hope there soon will be negotiations that may lead eventually to some kind of peaceful solutions.


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

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 15, 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.