My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON. Wednesday—I was glad to read that the American Bar Association, through one of its committees, has urged that we take the lead in making the World Court a real court.

When we adopted the Connally Reservation we stipulated that compulsory jurisdiction on the part of the World Court should "not apply todisputes with regard to matters which are essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States as determined by the United States."

This encouraged other countries to do the same, and so comparable reservations were made by France, Israel, Pakistan, South Africa and others. The United Kingdom and some British Commonwealth nations have made a slightly different reservation. Not allowing the court to really have jurisdiction on a compulsory basis made it in many cases valueless.

We now know that it is important to have an international court that functions. If we are going to live under law and not use force, this is an essential part of the whole business of peaceful existence with other nations. Disarmament cannot come until at least the machinery is in motion for settling differences by law and an international court is an essential part of this machinery.

Therefore, I hope very much we will decide in the next Congress to repeal the Connally amendment. Citizens who believe this is essential should, through the organizations to which they belong, make their wishes known to their Congressmen and Senators.

It is certainly logical that in a state where colored people are not allowed to vote and where juries are all white juries the conviction of a colored man should be held unconstitutional. This point has not before been brought before the country as the Supreme Court has now done it, and I am glad we are being made to think of civil rights again in this context.

When I was in Hyde Park over the weekend I was visited by a young man who is my close neighbor, Mr. Robert I. Potter. He has decided to run on the Democratic ticket for supervisor in the town of Hyde Park, and since in local elections I think people often vote for the individual rather than for the party, I asked him on what issues he was basing his campaign.

He told me he was basing it on a reduction of taxes for the community.

I have always felt that this was a poor way to look upon our taxes. The important thing is what we receive for the taxes we pay. But in reading about Mr. Potter's plans I entirely agree with the stand he has taken. He says: "We believe the taxes are too high for the services rendered, and that every dollar received in taxes should be returned in service."

This I agree with wholeheartedly, and as he told me of some of the difficulties in the town's finances I realized that we needed a new concept of business efficiency in managing the use of our taxes.

Hyde Park is an expanding community, like so many others in this country, but it should expand under a plan that will safeguard the type of development both for beauty and for the economic convenience of those who wish to come there for business or residential purposes.

I hope the voters will get to know Mr. Potter, for I think a change to a Democratic ticket in our town will give us some new ideas and result in better government.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Potter, Robert I. [ index ]
  • Washington (D.C., United States) [ index ]
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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 15, 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.