Eleanor Roosevelt to Arthur Vandenberg

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Arthur Vandenberg

6 January 1947 [New York City]

Dear Senator Vandenberg:

I have been thinking over your proposal that there should not be on the United States delegation in the future, bi-partisan representation from Congress.

I can quite well see why you and Senator Connolly feel it is not only a burden, but an impossibility to carry out the tasks you have at home as well as abroad. However the only reason we have carried as much weight as we have in the United Nations is because people feel that since we had bi-partisan representation, we really were speaking with some authority. Otherwise the United States delegation would always labor under the difficulty of having other nations feel it might agree to something which would never get through Congress, and the influence and ability to accomplish things would be very small. I do not want to see the United States placed in this position. Now that we have a Republican controlled Congress,1 I feel it more important than ever that there be bi-partisan representation on the delegations and at the meetings with the Secretary of State or whoever goes to represent him.

The forthcoming meeting in Moscow in March will be important.2 Would it not be possible for you and Senator Connolly to designate some one on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and the same in the House?3 These people could keep in close touch with you so that the nations dealing with us will feel that our representatives really speak for the whole government and not for just one branch of the government.

I hate to see you and Senator Connolly not continue your services because I feel very strongly that part of the value of continuous service lies in the fact that personal relationships can be built up between individuals and even if opinions have to differ, they can create a better feeling among the nations especially in these early stages.

I wanted to drop in to see you while I was in Washington but I felt you were too busy to be bothered at the present time. I am deeply grateful to the Senate and its acquiescence in my nomination as a delegate to the General Assembly because I consider it a great privilege to be allowed to work with all of you. I want to thank you personally for your kindness and consideration and I hope that you will allow me to come to see you from time to time since your advice on many things will be much needed.

My congratulations and best wishes on your new responsibilities which you are now undertaking.

                                       Very cordially yours,


Vandenberg replied in detail the day he received ER's letter.

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Arthur Vandenberg

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Arthur Vandenberg