The Hardest-Working Delegate
A few days out at sea on the liner Queen Elizabeth, which was carrying the United States delegation to the first session of the United Nations General Assembly in London, Mrs. Roosevelt was persuaded to hold her first formal press conference since she left the White House. The United Nations might not be "final and perfect," she told the reporters, but
I think that if the atomic bomb did nothing more, it scared the people to the point where they realized that either they must do something about preventing war or there is a chance that there might be a morning when we would not wake up.
One comment she put off the record, "For the first time in my life I can say just what I want. For your information it is wonderful to feel free." 1
It was a sign that she was emerging from the shock of April 12. So much had happened since then—the atom bomb, the growing split with Russia, civil war in China, the Pearl Harbor inquiry, the renewal of domestic bickering. "We have all been plunged into a new world." She would have liked to have drawn upon Franklin's thinking, but she also valued the feeling that she was on her own now, able to speak her own mind in meeting the problems of this new world. And she had an astute appreciation of just how much influence she might be able to wield. "The delegation won't follow me dear," she wrote an overenthusiastic friend, "but I think they won't like to propose anything they think I would not approve of!" 2
The delegation was a prestigious one. It consisted of five