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

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NEW YORK—I am sure the South must have been appalled when Rep. Graham A. Barden, chairman of the House Committee on Education and Labor, announced that he would not seek reelection.

Representative Barden is 63 years old and comes from North Carolina. But he is, I think, one of the highly conservative citizens of that state and, as such, has not supported in his committee much forward-looking legislation.

The Congressman next in line to succeed him as chairman is Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. I would be the last person to oppose Representative Powell's desire to get better civil rights legislation through Congress, but I feel he would not be the happiest choice for chairman of the committee. This is an important committee, and many people would feel that its chairman should not be a man who is under indictment on income tax charges in New York State.

This post, I feel, should be filled by the very best person who can be found, for the committee's work deals with two of the most important subjects now before the people. What is done in the field of education and labor legislation in the next year or so may make a great difference to the future of our country.

There will be a hearing soon, I am told, on the question of whether the United States should scrap the old Connally reservation which permits this country to decide if it will accept the jurisdiction of the World Court at The Hague in any case brought against it.

The reason that the Connally reservation was adopted by Congress is that the United States felt it should have the right to decide whether a question brought before the World Court concerns only domestic policies and, if so, not subject for consideration in an international court.

Most of the countries of the world made no reservations in accepting the court's jurisdiction in international matters, and this is important because each case before the court lays the foundation for international law.

If we are going to live together without recourse to war, we must learn to rely more and more on law and law-making bodies. Some of our most eminent jurists and the American Bar Association are fighting to repeal the Connally reservation because they feel we should be put on record as accepting the court's jurisdiction without reservation.

But the Senate has never been a body in which new ideas are advanced. It is difficult for the Senate to accept anything which it fears might curtail national sovereignty. Yet, if we want a peaceful world, we must substitute law for force and, in doing so, must necessarily curtail to some extent our national sovereignty.

I went up to Hyde Park last week to speak at a PTA meeting in Rhinebeck and was surprised and pleased to find there so much interest in education. This was reflected in the large attendance. I found much interest in changes that may improve the education of young people today.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 26, 1960

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.