NOVEMBER 18, 1959
NEW YORK —On Monday night I attended the annual Freedom Award Dinner where Paul-Henri Spaak was given this year's award. Under his name on the program they said: "Statesman of the Free World, Guiding the Atlantic Alliance, The Shield of Liberty." I hope the Atlantic Alliance is the "shield of liberty," but we cannot forget that we are not alone in the world and that there are many other areas that also desire liberty and think of themselves as its shield.
Mr. Spaak has always been a wise statesman and he spoke on Monday night with wisdom. He called on the United States to lead the non-Communist nations toward true interdependence, and he pointed out that Premier Khrushchev, in his firm belief that communism would eventually win in the world, has made it clear that at least as far as ideology is concerned there will be no possibility of co-existence.
He also noted that the burden of proof, where our economies are concerned in both countries, will lie with the country that through its economy does the most for human beings.
Mr. Spaak said, "We must reorganize our system in such a way as to combine in the true balance the great merit of private initiative with the advantage of coordination and planning." And then he pointed out what we are all finding out that it is easier to mobilize against aggression, which is something from the military standpoint we have been trained to do, than it is to mobilize to coordinate economic policy and to do it in cooperation with other nations.
"Make this Western community of free people ever more profoundly unified in the cause of freedom everywhere," he said. This is something many of us had not even thought of doing before, and I felt Mr. Spaak gave us a very great challenge in his speech.
Governor Rockefeller, who arrived late and I imagine came directly from a train or plane following his West Coast trip, looked to me worn and weary, very young, very nice, and quite confused where his speech was concerned. I don't think he had much time to go over it, and he left with me the impression that he was not as much prepared for this dinner as he should have been. One hopes he will have a few day's rest.
The Republicans are certainly traveling about this year, and when one reads of the President's plane making the trial run to all the countries that he is going to visit, one realizes how very rapid this trip of the President's will be. There will not be much rest, not even time to get much of the flavor of the countries he will land in. Everywhere talks, however, which will be of momentous importance.
As an American I can only hope that Mr. Dean Acheson's measure of what can be accomplished on this trip is incorrect, for I think it might have great value. The time seems to be ripe for something to be done on disarmament and we must not miss our opportunity.
(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 18, 1959
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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