MAY 23, 1960
PHILADELPHIA—Now that we have recovered somewhat from the shock of the break-up of the Paris summit meeting, I trust we have made wise decisions as to what will be done at the meeting of the United Nations Security Council, at which Soviet Foreign Minister Andrei Gromyko today will present Russia's complaint about "aggressive spying" by the U.S.
I believe we should go into this meeting stressing the fact that only an agreement permitting inspection by U.N. teams will ever remove the fears and the distrust which inevitably bring about espionage.
We should, I think, frankly acknowledge our blunders in timing and in communication between our own government departments. All peoples understand that espionage is a self-protective measure by which a nation tries to be forewarned about threats against its own security. To do away with these threats, only an agreement on U.N. inspection can be reassuring enough to create the sense of security from which may come that confidence between nations without which there is no hope for real disarmament.
Already we hear people demanding that because of the new situation we must build up our military defenses to an even greater extent than we now have. But no build-up of arms can assure us of peace. Since Mr. Khrushchev knows this as well as we do, it seems to me we should go to the Security Council with an honest acceptance of our mistakes and with a concrete proposal for future U.N. action, ready for immediate discussion.
Personally, I am glad that the whole question will now be back in the United Nations, where some calm, clear thinking can be done. That is why I hope we will present proposals that go directly and fairly to the heart of the problem, and which the Soviets cannot summarily reject. It will be easy to get an adverse vote against the Soviet Union's complaint, but that is not what we want. We want a real beginning of agreement which will prove that there are things we can do to bring the world greater security than ever before.
Granted that it cannot be complete security. We shall have to move slowly, and the first agreement may not be entirely satisfactory. That is why we must also bend every effort to continue the Geneva meetings on ending nuclear tests and on disarmament.
Only patient, constant negotiations can bring us, a step at a time, further and further away from the reckless threats which Mr. Khrushchev showered on the U.S. and President Eisenhower, and on the heads of Turkey and Norway and anyone else he thought he could intimidate, in his amazingly irresponsible outbursts in Paris. But each such step will bring us a little nearer to the solution of the political and military difficulties which must be solved before the world can have any real sense of security.
(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 23, 1960
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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