My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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SARASOTA, Fla.—One only hopes that President Eisenhower's realization of the hunger problem in India will lead to some changes in our own agricultural policy, since the first area where we could move to help with the world's food supplies is by a change in our own policy at home. Prime Minister Nehru evidently has great hopes for the President's influence to be extended to affect the good of the world. In turn, we cannot help hoping that the President will see many things on this trip which will lead, upon his return, to new understanding of the problems which we must help other people in the world to face and solve for themselves.

Everyone must meet his own problems, but sometimes the solution is very much longer in coming about if you cannot have help from outside sources. Other countries may have already conquered certain difficulties and learned certain ways of meeting the problems which confront a new nation in its struggles to achieve better standards of living.

Secretary of State Herter left on Saturday for a meeting of the North Atlantic Alliance in Tokyo. This is rather a crucial meeting, since it will determine, I believe, how closely the West is going to work together. If they decide to work closely they will be stronger at the summit meeting. Secretary Herter is prepared to pledge again that the U. S. will fulfill in full its share of the NATO commitments this fall; but I think it is reasonable to expect that our Western allies, who are more prosperous than they were at one time, should also accept their share of the defense burden. So far NATO has been almost entirely considered a military alliance—a defense in Europe against possible Communist military aggression.

President de Gaulle's new continental policy has made the joint defense situation much more complicated. To many of us, the strength of NATO depends more upon the broadening of its base to bring about closer economic and cultural cooperation between the countries of the West. The chances are that military forces in Europe must remain there as a deterrent to any possible aggressive moves. However, since any aggression that is ever threatened now seems to be first directed against the U. S., the actual military danger to Europe seems to those countries less important; and if we are to draw closer together it probably must be along economic and cultural lines. These are complicated situations which must be worked out with care and imagination, and the closeness with which the Western countries can work together will make a difference in their ability to cope with clear-cut Soviet policies at any summit meeting.

The U. N. General Assembly was scheduled to hold its last meeting on Saturday, but the Algerian situation is still unfinished work and the new member to be elected to the Security Council has never been chosen. Poland and Turkey are still the contenders. Everything possible has been suggested—including that they divide the term between them, or that one should have it now and the other at the expiration of the present term—but nothing seems to bring a solution. I wonder what happens if they just have to call it a day without having elected the eleventh member of the council? Perhaps they will decide to find an entirely new candidate to agree on.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Sarasota (Fla., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 14, 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.