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ER discusses the various issues regarding admitting Communist China to the UN.

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[unknown speaker:]

Mrs. Eleanor Roosevelt has been working with the United Nations ever since its inception and has very strong feelings about Red China's qualifications for UN membership.


--to admit Red China now, which doesn't qualify. To qualify for membership, you have to be striving to be a peace-loving nation. You also, have to be considered keeping--of living up to the promises which you make when you join. Uh now, I think given the nations that want China in the most, like Russia um and Great Britain would be glad [unclear term]. But uh I think even those nations know that at present she couldn't qualify. If she were to withdraw troops from North Vietnam, and North Korea, and-and uh a number of- of Tibet, and a few other places, uh you-you might have to reconsider the whole question. I-I think you will have a discussion in the UN, in this session probably, as to the right of the delegates of the Republic of China on Formosa [Taiwan], to represent the whole of China. And I think there is no question that the majority of people in the UN feel they do not have that right.


Now, we will ask for uh-uh a study to be made of the entire question, and I think this is correct because there is uh a legal question involved. When the um--when the founding nations were-were really at work, the admission was of those countries, not of their governments, of countries. Now, um the government of China has completely changed. But has this changed the fact that China was a founding nation or not? And uh the government on Formosa [Taiwan], is the government that was admitted to the United Nations. But was it the government, or was it China, you see, that was admitted? So these are uh legalistic questions perhaps, but still they have to be discussed and they have to be decided. So I think it's right to ask for um a study to be made, which will probably take a year.

But, in the end um the real reason which was in the minds of the people who set up the United Nations, uh for a universal uh organization where every nation should be a member, was that as you built as they thought would um strength, military strengthening, within the United Nations and reduced it within individual nations. Uh you-you would have to have everybody under the same promises. Now this holds good today if we have any kind of um beginning unreal to someone because you could not leave um a country like China that represents a quarter of the world's population, outside of any agreement which really envisaged--um disarmament and placing the force within the United Nations to be able to control an aggressor at any time. And um so while um many--there is in this country, a very-- I don't know how big a group, but a group--a sizable group of people who feel very strongly that it's morally wrong to recognize another communist nation. I can't help feeling that um we can't do away with the things that exist and that as there are a number of nations that are communist nations, we can't very um well say we are going to live in a wor-world which um-- in which we do not recognize the fact that there are numberless people who um function under a communist regime. So it seems to me that this is sort of wishful thinking and not very-not very practical. And that the time will very likely come when faced with the question of the only safety that you really have, the only way we really assure the peace is to disown. And um complicated as it is and difficult as it is to find the proper inspection and anything that will build enough confidence in people to do this. Um I think you have to then face the fact that you may have to include um everybody in the world. But at present, it's-it's an academic question still.

[unknown speaker:]

Let us now turn to another front of what some people like to call the "Cold War," Latin America. Castro's Cuba is serving as a launching point through communist aid and propaganda in Latin America. The United States is fighting the effects of Castro's influence with President John F. Kennedy's Alliance for Progress program. But is our foreign aid in Latin America doing the job there that must be done? How effective is the Alliance for Progress Program? Edwin M. Martin, Assistant Secretary of State.

Program Participants

  • : Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced


About this document
On Admission of China to the United Nations

Eleanor Roosevelt

Project Editors
  • National Endowment for the Humanities

Eleanor Roosevelt Speeches is a project and publication of The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, The George Washington University, Academic Building, Post Hall, Room 312, 2100 Foxhall Road, NW, Washington, DC 20007

Transcript Editors
  • : Lewis, Britanny
  • : Hall, Natalie
  • : Chang, Kendrick
  • : Alhambra, Christopher   [ ORCID: 0000-0002-6299-793X | VIAF ]

Transcribed and published by the Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project, 2019-11-27

Transcription created from holdings at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library