Correspondence: 1951
    Commentary by Steve Neal

General Douglas MacArthur (1880-1964), who commanded United Nations forces in Korea, repeatedly tested President Truman's authority. During World War II, the Far East general had frequently differed with Franklin D. Roosevelt, yet the two men appeared to have had considerable respect for each other. Roosevelt chose MacArthur as supreme commander of all forces in the Pacific, promoted him to five-star rank, and decorated him with the Congressional Medal of Honor. Truman, who regarded the general as a prima donna, did what Roosevelt would have done in appointing him as supreme commander of Allied occupation forces in Japan and later as commander of United Nations forces in Korea.

MacArthur turned the tide of the Korean War with the landing of UN troops at Inchon in the fall of 1950. Following this triumph, he held his first and only meeting with Truman at Wake Island. As the Americans advanced into North Korea toward the Yalu River, Chinese forces entered the conflict and drove MacArthur's troops beneath the thirty-eighth parallel. By early 1951, MacArthur favored withdrawal from Korea because it was a war that could not be won. In looking for a scapegoat, MacArthur blamed Truman for not allowing him to bomb Chinese bases in Manchuria.

When MacArthur went public with his dissenting views, Mrs. Roosevelt thought he was on dangerous ground. "I cannot feel," she wrote in her column, "that a commanding general in the field, particularly when he commands for a group of nations, should take it upon himself to announce the policy that in his opinion should be followed in the area of the world where he commands troops."

Truman, who detested MacArthur, would not tolerate any commander who showed disrespect to the office of the presidency of the United States. Two days after Mrs. Roosevelt's column, he fired MacArthur for insubordination. "The President did the only thing he could do," Eleanor wrote her daughter Anna. ". . . but it is going to be stormy for a while."

Truman's popularity dropped to 23 percent in the wake of MacArthur's dismissal. Though Eleanor had backed the president in most conflicts and crises of his administration, her support was particularly welcome in April of 1951.

That same month, Mrs. Roosevelt relinquished her chairmanship of the Human Relations Commission while remaining a member of the panel. She reported to Truman about the growing tensions at the United Nations between the countries of the third world and the major Western democracies; her hope for establishing a future relationship with the People's Republic of China; and a European perspective on the Korean War.

During a visit to Chicago, Mrs. Roosevelt was asked by reporters about the president's occasional displays of anger. In early December 1950, Truman had penned an angry letter to Washington Post music critic Paul Hume, who had written a negative review of Margaret Truman's Washington, D.C., concert. Mrs. Roosevelt said that Truman's flare-ups were unfortunate, but that "we should be more careful in our criticism" because the president "carries the greatest load any man in history has carried." She was then asked if Truman faced greater problems than any of his predecessors, including FDR. "Definitely I do," she replied.


    1. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, FEBRUARY 28, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I am sending you the enclosed because it seems to me very well thought out and typical of a number of letters that have come to me though it is far better expressed.

    On the whole I agree with what the gentleman says and I am troubled at several trends today.
    I hope that before I go to Geneva, if the Human Rights Commission has to meet there in April, that I may have an opportunity to see you for a few minutes to tell you of our position so you will be acquainted with the situation. I was not very happy over some of the trends in the last General Assembly but I wrote you a report on that.

    Now I feel we are badly in need of a speech from you in the simplest possible terms, simplifying and clarifying for the people the whole present situation in the field of foreign and domestic affairs.

    Very cordially yours,

    


    2. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, MARCH 7, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    I am always glad to have your thoughtful letters, and appreciate now, as in the past, your conscientious approach to all of the problems which come before you in your arduous labors with the Human Rights Commission.

    Of course, I am always glad to talk over these problems with you, for I always find your reports not only interesting, but stimulating. I shall be most happy to see you before you go to Geneva.

    I have read very carefully the letter from your correspondent which you enclosed. I would not dismiss his apprehensions lightly. The temptation, however, is strong to observe that from the vantage point of second sight he oversimplifies our foreign relations. After all, both China and Spain present imponderables.

    But I am gratified that you have sent me the letter, and I am very glad also to have the benefit of your correspondent's observations.

    Very sincerely yours,

    

Truman and Mrs. Roosevelt shared a mutual dislike of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco (1892-1975). But as the Cold War developed, Truman, in December 1950, resumed diplomatic relations with Spain because o f its strategic importance. Eleanor passed along a letter from a Robert Hamlisch of Washington, D. C., who objected to a U.S.-Spanish alliance but wanted the administration to open relations with the People's Republic of China. In February 1951, at Truman's urging, the UN General Assembly passed a resolution denouncing China for entering the Korean War. Mrs. Roosevelt, who supported Truman in Korea, also favored U.S. recognition of the Chinese government.


    3. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, MARCH 30, 1951

 

    My dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    I am distressed beyond measure by the unqualified falsity of statements in an article in the current issue of Cosmopolitan regarding my sentiments toward you and all the members of the Roosevelt family, not omitting even calumnious statements concerning my attitude toward my lamented predecessor.

    In the face of all this false witness, this perjured evidence, I cannot restrain the impulse to write you this assurance that the entire article is a tissue of lies, a willful distortion of truth and fact. In my heart I feel that this disclaimer in toto on my part is unnecessary but I shall feel better for having written you.

    With highest esteem and respect,
    Faithfully,

    


    4. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, MARCH 31, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I have not read the article in Cosmopolitan but I assure you that I would not be in the least disturbed about it. There have been many things printed that I know to be untrue and I ceased long ago worrying about them.

    With my good wishes, I am
    Very cordially yours,

    

William Bradford Huie (1910-1986), a journalist and novelist, excelled as an investigative reporter and did his best work in the fields of military reform and race relations in the South. "The Terrible-Tempered Mr. Truman," in the April 1951 Cosmopolitan, was closer to the mark than the president would acknowledge. Huie documented his subject's differences with the Roosevelts. But the author overstated his case in claiming that Truman was more of an Eleanor-and-Franklin hater than was the right-wing columnist Westbrook Pegler. Truman's private criticism of the Roosevelts was hardly comparable to Pegler's very public rants.


    5. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, APRIL 9, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I am sorry to leave for Geneva without having gone to Washington again but I will come down soon after I return the end of May to report to you whatever is accomplished at the meeting of the Human Rights Commission.

    Our position seems to me constructive and wise and I hope we can get it through. I do not think any of us want to take up your time unless it is essential, and as the state department did not feel it was necessary for me to come at this time, I think it will be much wiser for me to come when I will be able to report the results of this meeting.

    I had the pleasure of telling the author of that disagreeable article in Cosmopolitan in a radio interview the other day that as far as I was concerned, and of course I can only speak for myself, I had never found you anything but kind and considerate in every way which was a great satisfaction to me.

    Very cordially yours,

    


    6. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, APRIL 12, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    I certainly did appreciate yours of the ninth and, of course, I am sorry that conditions were such that I didn't get a chance to see you before you left but I'll be most happy to talk with you when you come back.

    I think our position is the correct one with regard to Human Rights and with regard to the world foreign policy, which covers the whole globe and not just one location.

    I am glad you got a chance to tell that Cosmopolitan author some of the facts. That is one of the most vicious articles that has ever been written with regard to my relations with you and President Roosevelt. Putting it mildly there just wasn't one word of truth in it. You, of course, know that to be a fact.

    I hope you will have a most successful meeting and that I will have the pleasure of talking with you about it when you return.
    Sincerely yours,

    

In April of 1951, Mrs. Roosevelt ended her five-year tenure as chairman of the UN's Human Rights Commission. The East-West and North-South tensions in the Assembly were a factor in her decision. 'As representative of the United States, one of the great powers," she wrote in her column, "I did not feel I should continue to hold the chairmanship of this important commission." She would stay on as a member of the commission and U.S. delegate to the General Assembly.


    7. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, APRIL 11, 1951

 

    To the President:

    My congratulations on your courage. It seems to me you have done the right thing.

    Eleanor Roosevelt

    


    8. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, APRIL 13, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    I highly appreciate your kind message of commendation and approval of the course I took. It certainly was with the deepest personal regret that I found myself compelled to replace General MacArthur, but the cause of world peace is of major importance and there must be no doubt or confusion as to our policy in the Far East.

    My thanks and good wishes,

    Very sincerely yours,

    

General MacArthur publicly differed with the administration's Korean War strategy. MacArthur favored bombing Chinese bases in Manchuria, a blockade on the Chinese coast, and accepting Chiang Kai-shek's offer of Nationalist troops. The general shared these views in a letter to House Minority Leader Joseph W. Martin. On April 11, 1951, the president removed MacArthur from his command for insubordination. Though Mrs. Roosevelt supported Truman's decision, two-thirds o f the American people had a different view.


    9. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, MAY 1, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    It is always good to hear from you and I am especially grateful for your thoughtful letter of April twenty-fourth. It is particularly gratifying to have your assurance that my action in the MacArthur case has brought new hope into the international situation.

    Mine was a stern and unpleasant duty to perform but it was and is my settled conviction that there was no alternative action in the interest of peace and security.

    I have been going over with great interest your memorandum of the conversation with Colonel Arthur Murray as well as the text of his letter to the Times of London. He surely writes out of a long and rich experience in Chinese and Far Eastern affairs generally and I am glad to have the benefit of his opinions.

    Take good care of yourself and guard your health always. I appreciate fully the task you are engaged in is a hard one.
    Always sincerely,

    


    10. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, APRIL 27, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I am enclosing this copy of a letter which I wrote to General Marshall for your information. I have already sent you a copy of the report of my conversation in London.

    Very cordially yours,

    April 27, 1951

    Dear General Marshall:

    The other night at dinner, I had a talk with the head of the International Red Cross, Dr. Ruegger. He said many fine things about his devotion to you. The Consulate here has had some difficulties in getting any answers from him as regards prisoners of war in Korea. He murmured to me, when I asked him about these difficulties that there was no difficulty on top levels between the United States and the International Red Cross and you and he had always been friends. He said he had sent many inquiries but had been unable to get any answers and I imagine he was irritated at being asked when he could not get any answers, so perhaps this little difficulty will soon blow over.

    I did want to tell you that I asked him about the trip from which he has just returned. He went to Peking with his wife. He says that Madame Sun Yat-sen is active in the government, that he saw some other people who were working and had a long talk with Chou En-lai. He says he does not think he is a communist, certainly not a communist in the Russian sense. Dr. Ruegger seems to think that the reforms are genuine and that they are actually trying to get a clean government, free of graft. Chou said nothing which Western Europe could resent and I thought he felt that with proper handling something might be done to straighten out the present difficulties between China and the rest of the world.

    I am enclosing to you a report of a conversation which I had in London and which might give you a side light on a certain type of British thinking. My conversation with Dr. Ruegger coming on top of it seems to confirm some of the things said and make it advisable for us, by hook or by crook to find out whether a United Nations advance would get any consideration in Peking.

    Dr. Ruegger said he had just had a letter from the Chinese Ambassador whom he had seen over there. He thinks that is the only link with the outside world and that link should not be broken. He also felt he was feeling his importance somewhat.

    He has admiration for Nehru, but he felt Nehru has not stood on the right side very often of late and I think it is because Nehru was appalled at the thought of having China as an enemy.

    I know we can not appease and I am not suggesting any action because I do not know enough but I felt these two observations might be of some help to you and to the efforts made by the United Nations if there is a chance that there may be Chinese officials who are not communists. Some of the efforts being made for peace might have a hearing.

    Very sincerely yours,

    

Chou En-lai, who held the dual role of premier and foreign minister of the People's Republic of China, once described himself as "more Chinese than Communist." Mrs. Roosevelt's judgment would be vindicated. Two decades later, Mao's longtime ally would play a critical role in the normalization of relations between the United States and China. She admired Indian prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru (1889-1964). "He bears the burdens, which are almost overwhelming," she wrote a friend, "in a calm and courageous manner."


    11. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, MAY 6, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    Thank you very much for your very kind letter. I do hope you will not bother to answer my letters because I know how busy you are.

    I am enclosing this report of a conversation which I had with Mr. Jean Monnet. I thought you might be interested.

    I will come to Washington to see you shortly after my return.

    Very cordially yours,

    The following was enclosed with Mrs. Roosevelt's letter.

    Mr. Jean Monnet was kind enough to invite me, with my son, Elliott and his wife, to dine on Saturday night at his country home which is about thirty-five minutes out of Paris. He retires there every night. He seemed cheerful and relaxed and ready to talk.

    The Far East is, of course, on everybody's mind and I was rather interested in the things he said. He thinks France should give up Indo China.

    If they did so, the expenses for rearmament at home could be easily absorbed without making any great sacrifices in their own standard of living. He does not think that anything of the kind should be done in North Africa because France has been much longer in North Africa, and in addition, it is right at their backdoor. Of course, if the wave of nationalism succeeds, there is no assurance that it will not spread. France has been so long in North Africa and accomplished so little in raising the standard of living and in giving the people education that I do not know how long they can hope to keep their power unchallenged.

    In Asia Mr. Monnet feels that all of us play into the hands of the communists. We should long ago have recognized the great movement for nationalism which is sweeping over that whole area and even though there was infiltration by the communists and nationalism was used by them, we should not be fighting against it. He also said we should have offered our help in the economic field or in any field that they desired and cheerfully have assured them that it was their business as to what kind of a government they set up. He feels that because of the fact that Russia could not supply the whole area with the things they need, like locomotives and machinery, they would undoubtedly have turned to the West and we would have had a better chance to keep them free from communist domination than we have had in fighting them in a way which the communists have been able to capitalize on by saying that we were fighting their desire for freedom. He does not think they can possibly get on without help from Western Europe and the United States, and he thinks as the hardships grow greater, the communists will play more and more on the fact that we are to blame. The bitterness which has been building up for a long time, first because they have felt themselves treated as racial inferiors and then because they have been exploited colonially and by business groups in our country, will intensify instead of growing less.

    Mr. Monnet was very guarded, of course, on what we were doing but we put the question bluntly as to whether he felt the United Nations should get out of Korea since he felt that the French should get out of Indo-China. He said, no, that was quite a different situation, that the United Nations would have to stay until some solution was found, but he felt we should try to hold the line rather than go forward to conquer the whole area and that the effort to come to any agreement with the Chinese should not be given up. I gather that he thought it would have been wiser if the United Nations had never committed itself in Korea, but having done so, there was no turning back.

    Mr. Monnet said he was not a pessimist in the present situation. By that I gathered that he meant that he did not think the USSR would provoke a war but he did say he felt she would continue to be as irritating as she possibly could be.

    In view of Gromyko's outbursts I am wondering whether the USSR is not a little afraid that China may force her under their treaty agreement to come to China's aid and whether the USSR is loathe to do this and is trying to warn us by their statements on Korea that this may happen. If it does, it means total war.

    On the other hand, Mr. Monnet seemed to feel that China would not try to draw the USSR into her own territory. Though their bonds with the USSR might be close, he did not think they trusted them enough to want their military strength actually within their borders. He said it did not make much difference to the Chinese if they have to send armies into Korea to be killed because manpower was the one thing they did not lack, and our "meat grinder" policy could be used to awaken their resentment against us and all the white peoples of the world so as to build up their own nationalist feeling.

    Mr. Monnet is an able businessman and has probably saved France financially so I imagine his thinking carries some weight. He lived in China for a short time and has a good many Chinese friends. He also, as you know, spent a good many years in America and speaks excellent English. He lives simply and hates the city. Perhaps there is a peasant background. In any case, he was close to Mr. Blum and is close to President Auriol and Mr. Schuman. I speak of Blum simply because Madam Blum was there, and she has always been at President Auriol's when I have gone there "en famille." In spite of her husband's death, I think her thinking probably carries some weight with them all because of their affection for her husband. Curious for a financier, almost a financial genius to have been such a close friend of socialists.

    In talking to some of the best informed Swiss people, namely, Professor Rappard, I find there is a feeling that the USSR does not want war now, and I think they are going ahead here in business in a way which indicated that they feel a certain amount of stability is to be expected for the next few years.

    


    12. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, MAY 15, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    I can't tell you how very much I appreciate your letters of April twenty-seventh and May sixth-one enclosing me a copy of a letter which you sent to General Marshall, and the other one a memorandum of a conversation you had with the Honorable Jean Monnet. They are most interesting and helpful-furnishing me with background information. You are very kind to keep me informed on these matters.

    I shall certainly be happy to see you when you return.
    Sincerely yours,

    

Jean Monnet (1888-1979), the French economist, was highly regarded by Truman. The advocate of European unity came up with the idea of a six-nation European coal-and-steel community governed by a supranational authority. When the initiative was announced in May 1950 by French foreign minister Robert Schuman, it became known as the Schuman Plan. Monnet cared more about getting results than taking credit. Known as the father of modern Europe, he also drafted the plan for the European Common Market and spent years promoting a United States of Europe.

In her memorandum, Mrs. Roosevelt also refers to Leon Blum (1872-1950), France's premier before and after World War II; Schuman (1886-1963); and Soviet diplomat Andrey Gromyko (1909-1989).


    13. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, MAY 15, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    More notes that may be of possible interest, nothing important but I send them to you for what they are worth.

    Very cordially yours,

    At dinner with the Yugoslavs the other night I had the most interesting conversation. He told me that great changes had come about since they had broken with the USSR; they had much more recognition of the individual's importance and they had been brought to this because they had to acknowledge that passing edicts did not accomplish anything. People had to want to do the things. For instance, there must be cooperatives on the farms because they just did not have machinery enough to make the farms more productive unless there were cooperatives, but they had to go about it simply and educate the farmers to the point of wanting to cooperate and it was far from being accomplished as yet.

    He also told me that they had passed an edict that all Moslem women must take off their veils. They even got one hundred women to agree to take them off, and took them on a grand tour to see Belgrade, etc., but the Moslem women did not take off their veils.

    He also told me there had been a fearful fight in the revision of their penal code or constitution, but Miss Whiteman is trying to get hold of a copy to find out definitely which it is. He said it had been just like the USSR article but when they brought it up again it was violently protested on the part of large groups among the Yugoslavs. They finally succeeded in getting it changed as now it protects the rights of the individual against the government instead of making the state superior over the individual.

    He further said they were so poor it was very difficult for them to do many of the things they would like to do, but they would be more than glad to show any of us what they were trying to accomplish and they invited us all collectively to come and see Yugoslavia, and the government invited me officially.

    I now have formal invitations to visit India, Pakistan, Israel and Yugoslavia. I could stay away for a year without seeing all the places I have been asked to visit. Unfortunately I do not want to stay away and I am not at all sure it is as useful to be away from home as it is to be at home.

    Miss Bowie told me she talked with the little USSR man whom the Yugoslav told her was a member of the NKVD. He speaks good English and told her she would be welcome in Moscow, but too many people came there just to criticize. She said they should be able to take it, and he replied that they were still too new to stand it, which was an interesting admission.

    I had quite a talk with Mr. Morosov and explained to him in detail just why we had to fight for a federal-state clause, that we might not win but we had to fight for it because without it, a treaty of this kind might not be considered constitutional and would stand very little chance of being accepted by our Senate. I explained to him that education was a state function, that things touching on the economic, cultural and social rights were many of them in state jurisdiction. I also illustrated for him the fact that on trains now, because the federal program could control interstate commerce, we had been able to do away with segregation, but we could not through federal edict do away with it in all the states. That had to come by state action and in a democracy you could not order, the people had to be persuaded to do it themselves. He is a jurist and so is his interpreter and I think they understood very well. What they will make of it and what the next attack will contain because of it, remains to be seen.

    They were very anxious to have me see some photographs (when I went to their house for a reception). Mr. Charles Malik took me into the room to show them to me and one of their young men hovered around to hear my comments. They were extraordinary photographs of projected buildings and buildings under construction. The University of Moscow looks like a tremendous undertaking and should be most impressive with a large pool in front of it and some fine landscaping. They may have administration buildings and apartment houses under construction, going as high as fifty stories. They told me that was like ours, and I said: "Yes, but not the kind of house I would like to live in." The NKVD man said: "I have been to Hyde Park and know you like little houses." As I left, Mr. Morosov asked me what I thought of the buildings and I told him I thought there was an extraordinary amount of new construction going on in Moscow. He said it was in different parts of the city and certainly it was making a great change. Then he asked me what I thought of the architecture. I told him I could not tell from the photographs what the detail was like but the building effort was certainly very impressive.

    Then I remarked that if so much building was going on in a short time Mr. Vishinsky would not be able to say that there was not enough housing in Moscow to host the General Assembly of the United Nations and so they would have to invite the Assembly to meet there. Mr. Morosov smiled, and then I said: "You know, sir, you are building so much there must not be a war because so much that you love and I love will be destroyed if there is." He said that was true, there must not be.

    With that we parted with very warm handshakes all around. If they were ordinary human beings I would say that the frank conversation had been valuable but the Lord only knows what will be the result and I shall wait further exchanges with him in the Commission with curiosity.

    


    14. HARRY S. TRUMAN TO ELEANOR ROOSEVELT, MAY 25, 1951

 

    Dear Mrs. Roosevelt:

    Again I want to thank you very much for your notes on the interview with the Yugoslav people. They are most interesting and informative. I appreciate your taking the trouble to send them to me and I want to assure you that they are very helpful.

    Sincerely yours,

    

Truman provided military and economic assistance to Yugoslavia following Marshal Tito's break with the Soviet Union in 1948. Mrs. Roosevelt, who visited Tito in 1953, regarded him as one of the few giants of the Cold War era. In her memorandum, she also refers to Lebanon's Charles Malik, who succeeded her as chairman of the Human Rights Commission.


    15. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, MAY 27, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I am sending you the enclosed, a copy of which I have sent to the State Department. I thought it might suggest some questions that you wanted to ask me.

    I am glad I am going to have the opportunity of seeing you on Tuesday.

    Very cordially yours,

    I want to re-emphasize the same observations which I made after the meeting of the General Assembly last autumn and particularly my experience in Committee #3.

    I think the great nations, but especially the United States, have got to understand that there is a feeling in the world of a desire to attain some kind of a better standard of living and they feel that particularly the United States has an obligation to make the plans and help them to carry them out to apply those standards.

    They are a little fearful:

    1. That we do not care what happens to colored populations throughout the world.

    2. That our main interest is in power and gain for ourselves.

    3. That we are building up so much military power that while on one hand they hope it will protect them against the military power that they know is in the hands of the USSR, on the other hand they are a little afraid of it as a weapon which may be used to gain economic advantage.

    Altogether their feelings are highly mixed about us. They are afraid of the USSR but in some ways most of these nations have never known freedom and therefore it is almost easier to accept the type of totalitarian system that tells them definitely what to do than it does to accept the democratic system which seems to require so much of them.

    Just to illustrate my point, Dr. Charles Malik of Lebanon, told me he felt we had missed a great opportunity when the Shah of Persia was here. We should have had a plan ready to clean up his government and help him to help his people and we should have made him accept it and we should have sent people to help him put it in operation. Dr. Malik openly told me, in confidence of course, that no government in the Near East was anything but rotten, that the King of Egypt was a fool and unless we were going to take hold, the USSR undoubtedly would. This is a very tall order because it requires an amount of organization on our part and the searching for personnel first of all to make the plans and then to help carry them out. It is almost going to require a different type of education in our colleges.

    I also have a feeling that at the proper time some top level gesture will have to be made in relation with the USSR, but that is something I would like to talk over with you.

    In talking with the Dutchman who heads up the World Council of Churches who had just come back from a trip in the Near East, this feeling was emphasized, that something had to be done to re-settle the refugees and to straighten out those governments. He used China as an example to show what would happen if bad government was allowed to continue in the way it had continued in China.

    It is hard for us to realize but I felt it in the committee and got repercussions from the World Health Organization, that they balance the amount of money that we contribute against the results that that money can bring about in their countries. They do not realize that it means a sacrifice on our part because they do not measure the results in the standard of living against what we now have, but they measure against their own standard of living and they feel, of course, that we have lost nothing. This is ridiculous and should never be accepted but it must be understood because it is one of the reasons why they feel as they do. The reason they go all out on economic and social rights in the Human Rights Commission is because those are the rights that mean something tangible to them in their every day lives. They do not expect them to be achieved overnight but they use the word "right" in a different sense than we do legally.

    How are we going to explain all this to the American Bar Association and Congress I really do not know, but somehow it has to be got across because everywhere the emphasis is going to be on how they are going to get a sense of hope of attaining even one notch on the upward path.

    As I am going to see you I will make this brief but these are the fundamental things I think we have to accept and consider in making our future policies and are the things which somehow we have to get across to the Congress and to the people of the United States.

    

From the beginning of her service at the United Nations, Mrs. Roosevelt was disappointed by the polarization between the Western democracies and the emerging nations of the third world. She accurately reported conditions in the Mideast. King Farouk (1920-1965), a silly playboy, would be ousted in a 1952 military coup led by Gamal Abdel Nasser. Mohammad Reza Pahlavi (1919-1980), the Shah of Iran, was another playboy king who lost influence when the nationalist leader Muhammad Mosaddeq (1880-1967) became prime minister in 1951. The Shah returned to power in 1953 as the result of a coup supported by the Central Intelligence Agency.


    16. ELEANOR ROOSEVELT TO HARRY S. TRUMAN, DECEMBER 21, 1951

 

    Dear Mr. President:

    I imagine as I am only going to be home from the morning of the 22nd until the afternoon of the 31st, that you will be in Independence and not anxious to see me. You know, of course, that if you want to see me I could arrange to come to Washington, Friday afternoon the 28th. I can be reached on the telephone at Hyde Park where I will be from the 23rd or early morning on the 24th until the afternoon of the 25th. Then I will be in New York until the late afternoon of the 28th . . . . Then I will be in Hyde Park until the morning of the 31st when I leave for Paris.

    I am very conscious of the responsibility which has fallen on my shoulders but I can assure you it is not really very heavy, for the representatives of the State Department-Dr. Jessup, Mr. Sandifer, Ambassador Gross of the US Mission and other members of the delegation with their staffs are doing the really important work. We are deprived of Ambassador Austin's friendships with the heads of delegations here who come from the permanent groups in New York and I am sorry that I do not feel that I can make up for that constant contact which he had, but I am doing my best and I hope when the final report is in you will feel satisfied.

    It is still my belief that we should do as Mr. Cohen and I suggested in trying to have General Eisenhower in civilian clothes, state the purpose of NATO but we have had no answer to the telegram so I do not know what your thought on this really is.

    There is much of interest to tell you but if I go straight from Paris to Pakistan and India as the State Department asked me to do, I am afraid it will be spring before I get back to report to you. However, much of what I have to say will keep. It is long-range stuff and the others will tell you what the thought is on the immediate subjects better than I can.

    With every good wish to you and the family for Christmas and the New Year, I am

    Very cordially yours,

    

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