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

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HYDE PARK—It was a very sensible agreement finally reached between Liberia and Ireland that they would divide the seat on the United Nations Security Council, and Liberia will take the first year and represent all the new African states.

It seems to me essential that at some point membership on the Security Council be broadened. Since the total membership of the U.N. has increased so tremendously, there should be a broadening of the base of representation in the councils. Although they have always been supposed to represent regions of the world, the continent of Africa has heretofore had no representation.

The Soviet Union was responsible for refusing to have the council membership enlarged. One hopes that the day will come when the Soviets will give up their ridiculous effort to destroy the U.N., and will realize that real representation is one of the objectives of the U.N. as a whole.

The Soviets are still not willing to pay their full share of financial commitments to the U.N., and it was noticeable that when they were trying so hard to establish a three-headed Secretariat General they never did propose that the three groups they were asking to have represented should carry equal financial responsibility in the U.N..

It is obvious to all that a group of three trying to perform the duties of the Secretary General would never accomplish anything; endless bickering would be the only result.

It takes a long time, but in the end the Soviets usually do come around to a common-sense point of view. Sometimes, however, their opponents get tired out before the Soviets accept the sensible point of view and the point of agreement is reached; that, of course, is what they hope for.

Smooth running machinery to help solve the problems of the world and keep it on as even a keel as possible in these difficult days is not one of the Soviet's aims, for if they can just keep countries in chaos they hope that sooner or later they can step in and take them over.

An amusing cartoon in one of our papers the other day depicted a large Teddy-bear with a card around his neck saying: "From Nikita to Castro." The discovery that when you accept help you may also be forced to accept a system comes rather slowly, but I think in the end the communist sytem will be harder for Cuba to swallow than the stupidity of some of the things done by Americans.

Only time will tell, and so we shall all wait and pray that nothing really harmful to the peace of the world occurs in Cuba. Eventually the Soviets may realize that communism may be better off if two systems are allowed to flourish in the world, under conditions where those that prefer one are not in constant fear of being taken over by the other.

I think the storm of protest which has been aroused by the appointment of Robert Kennedy to the Attorney-Generalship is beginning to seem foolish. Granted that he is young, granted that he has no long experience as a lawyer behind him, he nevertheless has integrity. His ability seems to be unquestioned and it is just possible that he understands certain phases of his brother's programs better, and has a more comprehensive knowledge of them, than anyone else that the President-elect has been able to find.

In this case, I doubt whether the President-elect is choosing his brother. I think he is choosing a man whom he believes will get some of the things done which he wants to accomplish.

With an Attorney General who will use his powers to the limit, a good deal can be accomplished along the lines that I am sure the future President wants. Much can be done for civil rights, something can be done to control racketeers.

It may well be that after careful thought and search the President-elect has decided that the qualities needed to carry through this job are found in his brother. This judgement may be good or bad, but it seems to me that we might wait with a little more calm to find out whether President-elect Kennedy's objectives are better obtained through the way he has chosen, or whether he should have observed the unwritten tradition that having members of your family in positions of government where they carry real responsibility is dangerous.


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

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 27, 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.