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

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HYDE PARK—It seems to me that the suggestion made by the Western powers that the foreign ministers' conference transform itself into a permanent body to continue the search of a solution for the German problem is a rather meaningless suggestion.

If there is going to be a continuing body, why should the entire question not be transferred at once to the United Nations? Trained personnel is available there and, what is even more important, the world representatives would thereby begin to become educated in the intricacies of the situation in Europe as it appears to both the Soviets and the countries of the West.

It is evident that the effort to find a solution for this problem is going to need some fresh new thinking. This can hardly be done by the countries that have been working on it for a long time.

It is becoming increasingly evident, I think, that none of the major questions that arise today can be solved solely by the nations concerned. There are too many ramifications.

There is a distinct need for bringing in people who can look at the questions involved as new ones without feeling that if they made changes now, they would be acknowledging their mistakes in decisions of the past. New nations can act on these questions differently just because they have never acted on them before.

Using the U.N. would strengthen this organization, and I think now is the time, when there seems to be no agreement between the East and West on the Berlin situation, to put this question into the hands of the U.N.

Admiral William D. Leahy's death brought to my mind my husband's affection and confidence in the admiral's integrity and intelligence. He entrusted him with many difficult missions and he felt, I think, that they were always carried out well.

Admiral Leahy served as personal chief of staff both to my husband and to President Harry S. Truman during World War II, and I am sure that both of them depended on him greatly and trusted him implicitly.

He had the difficult task of representing the United States in Vichy because he had known the French leaders who undertook to head that country's puppet government. It must have been an extremely difficult assignment, but Admiral Leahy acquitted himself well as a diplomat.

At the time of his death, he topped the seniority list of five-star generals and admirals who were created toward the end of World War II because of the distinction won as a naval officer, and I think he was looked upon as a real statesman by many of the people who met him at international conferences.

I extend my sympathy to Admiral Leahy's family and close friends and express my deep appreciation for his services to his country and my husband.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 23, 1959

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.