FEBRUARY 26, 1960
ATLANTA —As the days go by and we approach the time for the summit meeting in Paris, it seems to me to be more and more important that the Western Allies come to an agreement among themselves as to their stand—first of all on Berlin.
What are we willing to bargain with? What is impossible to bargain on? Where does the Western alliance stand together and say this is as far as we concede and no farther?
It seems to me there is no question that there must be protection for the freedom of access routes to the isolated city of West Berlin. I think that it is perhaps our first concern to make it clear to Premier Nikita Khrushchev that there is a point beyond which we will not go.
And the United States has to take the lead because it will take money to implement any such statements—in order to be convincing—and that money will have to come from the U.S. The other nations will do what they need to do as well as they can, but they will not be able to make the money available, and the U.S. will have to provide not only its share but the shares of most of the Western Allies.
This may be a disagreeable prospect for the U.S. to face, but we might just as well face it. Sometimes I think that even the government cannot believe some of its tranquilizing statements as to the security of the status quo.
I think it is sensible to face the fact that there is no such security and the summit meeting will amount to nothing unless there is unity among the Western powers and we in the U.S. are willing to back our words with force.
I have just gotten word that the Newark, N. J., chapter of the American Association for the United Nations has embarked on a letter-writing campaign around the world. Its members are writing to members of the World Federation of United Nations Associations in a number of countries. The chairman of this Newark project has chosen to write to a Russian scientist. Others are writing to members of the Ceylon, Ghana, Japan, Burma, France and El Salvador chapters.
They aim to increase their correspondence as the weeks go by and thereby increase understanding in their community about other countries of the world, while simultaneously increasing understanding of the U.S. in these countries.
To me this is a most useful project, and it utilizes President Eisenhower's "People to People" approach. "Letters Abroad," still another project, encourages much the same kind of contact. But members of the AAUN, writing to their counterparts in other parts of the world, enjoy a slight advantage. They can take it for granted that they have a mutual interest in peace with their correspondents, which gives them a real reason for writing to one another.
I have read with considerable interest about the stamp to be issued on May 18 in honor of Thomas Jefferson. However, according to my informant, a Jefferson quotation on the stamp leaves out certain words that seem essential to what Jefferson really said.
My correspondent, an old printer, tells me that the stamp, which will be known as a "credo" stamp, could easily carry the full quotation. And since the quotation really expresses one of Jefferson's beliefs I should think the full quotation would be printed. The quotation reads:
"I have sworn, upon the altar of God, eternal hostility against every form of tyranny over the mind of man."
(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] Atlanta (Ga., United States)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 26, 1960
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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