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

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NEW YORK—The Soviet Union made another of its usual speeches in the United Nations—this time against the British for sending troops into Kuwait. It never seems to occur to the Soviets that exactly the same arguments could be used against their occupation of Hungary as they are using against the British in Kuwait.

And this time the United Arab Republic joined with the Russians. Yet, if the reports I read the other day are correct, Egypt had previously been opposed to Iraq's desire to take over Kuwait. It was Iraq's threat that led to Kuwait asking the British to help her defend her borders against the Iraqis.

Having just been granted its freedom by the British, this was an unusual step for Kuwait to take, for it showed faith in the British intention to withdraw. This was a great compliment to the integrity of the British government.

Let us hope that this whole situation will be cleared up shortly, and that this tiny state will be left free. But even more important will be the kind of government the people of Kuwait can obtain under their new freedom. There is plenty of money in Kuwait, but how much enlightenment there is to give the people a higher standard of living remains still to be proved by the new government itself.

It seems to me that all of us must give a little more thought to the need of turning over to the United Nations the control of all nuclear weapons. As more countries develop the power to develop and use nuclear weapons—and there are signs that point that way—the more dangerous they will become unless strictly controlled by the U.N.

Sen. Hubert Humphrey, who is probably one of the best-informed people in the U.S. as chairman of the Senate disarmament subcommittee, made the suggestion the other day that the U.S. seek U.N. supervision of underground nuclear test explosions. This might be the beginning of turning over to the U.N. control of nuclear power as a whole, and it might also be a solution to the impasse we have reached over underground testing in Geneva.

It seems to me we are again looking toward the U.N. as we fail in our negotiations outside the U.N. It looks as though our one hope of some agreement on nuclear testing between the Soviet Union and the U.S. lies in giving the U.N. supervision.

In its annual report the Institute of International Education calls the United States "The Classroom of the World." This stems from the fact that we had 53,107 foreign students in our country during the past year.

The report also reveals that 40 percent more young African students came to our colleges and universities than came the previous year. This is of primary interest because it reflects the fact that the African states are very much concerned about the education of their people. Illiteracy is very high in most of the new African states and a tremendous effort is being made in many of them to raise educational standards for women as well as for men.

We have three times as many foreign students in our country than there are in any other country in the world—and thousands more are anxious to come but are held back for financial or other reasons.

This, of course, is not a one-way pilgrimage. Figures, which are now a year old, show that 14,306 U.S. students reported at institutions of higher learning abroad during the academic year of 1959-60. The number of our faculty members reported abroad increased considerably over past years, but the actual number was only 2,218.

I think it is interesting that with all the facilities offered by the Soviet Union to foreign students more of them still choose to come where they have greater academic freedom.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1961, by the United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 7, 1961

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.