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

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PARIS, Wednesday .—With November has come to Paris the usual rainy weather. It rains almost every day, and it is so dark in the early morning that I have difficulty in realizing that it is time to get up. Sometime during the day, however, it clears and then the blue sky and the soft light make one forget the rainy hours, and we are lucky to have it so warm. None of us has felt the need to wear the warm clothes we brought with us.

Almost every day someone says to me, "Now our winter begins". But by the next day the little snap in the air will have disappeared.

In Committee Three on Monday afternoon we listened to 12 speeches on a resolution originally introduced by the French. There are so many amendments now, all of which we will have to vote on, I am sure the French will not recognize their child when it is born.

One of the main things they wanted to do, I believe, was to emphasize that in the Economic and Social Council the social work should not be spread so thin that no good work could be done on anything. It looks to me now as though that idea will disappear from the resolution.

We had a rather eloquent speech from the delegate from Lebanon on the point of whether you should mention in this resolution the world's "available resources". He seemed to feel that in doing so we were serving some kind of notice on people that would restrict them in their social planning and be a wording which would make it possible to prevent advances being made. In addition, such phrasing might be unnecessary since those concerned might be obliged to consider first whether there is money available.

There is a good argument that can be made for both Committee Three and the Social Commission, which says that their function is to make the best plans for the social and economic well-being of the people.

The delegate from Lebanon also pointed out that there need be no fear that the United Nations will spend more money than it has because it is not a business concern that might hope to make more money this year than last year. The U.N., he maintained, knows what contributions will be and that it must not exceed them, but putting it down in advance emphasizes it too much.

The opposite group, represented by the United Kingdom and the United States, feels that not to say "available resources" would be unrealistic.

The Soviet Union is going through its usual maneuver of presenting amendments that ignore the fact that the specialized agencies are trying to do some very good work. In his speech the Byelo-Russian delegate stated that the United States had no laws protecting maternity and child welfare, so how could the workers support such a cruel system?

It is statements like these that make the audience laugh and I think laughter is not pleasing to the Soviet delegates, although they like to use irony and sarcasm as much as any of the rest of us do.

To my keen amusement Monday afternoon, Mr. Pavlov, the Soviet delegate, remarked that the United Kingdom and the United States delegates were speaking for their governments, which would seem fairly obvious. If any countries around the committee table control their representatives and have them give voice only to what they have been told to say, the Soviet Union is that government.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Paris (France) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 29, 1951

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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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.