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

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NEW YORK, Monday—I wonder how many newspapers here in the United States reported the meeting in Budapest of the Second International Congress of Women, where the American delegates painted a picture of life in the United States that would astonish many of their friends.

Apparently these women find our country a place where the police are ordered by President Truman to track down people who differ with him politically. The French newspaper reporting this meeting remarked they wondered why this group of 25 women, who believe the American government is seeking imperialist domination of the world and presented a resolution accusing the United States of "pursuing an aggressive and cold war against the Soviet Union," did not decide to remain in the "free countries" behind the Iron Curtain.

They would be free, of course, the newspaper story continued, from the secret police in the Soviet-dominated countries where such agents of the government are unknown. And they would have complete freedom to move about as they wish and to choose any kind of job they desired. They might have to work hard, but that is a joy and privilege, and they would have paid vacations and someday they may be able to buy some of the things that now are available to all the people of the United States.

The newspaper stated also that most of these ladies supported Mr. Wallace in the recent Presidential campaign and, according to this account, they have also not approved our bipartisan foreign policy, whether it is in the Far East or in Europe.

I have collected some of this group's literature because I think it will interest some of my friends. One bit I read with interest suggests that heads of all women's organizations be changed and new ones carefully chosen so that they will cooperate wholeheartedly with the Women's International Democratic Federation.

Of course, in Europe this group is known to be completely Communist-controlled. Otherwise, it could not be meeting in Budapest.

When the United Nations Human Rights Commission met in Geneva last year a representative of the Women's International Democratic Federation asked to present a petition, but as we could do nothing about petitions the commission decided not to receive any at that time. The lady, however, sat behind the group of Soviet delegates all the time she was there.

I wouldn't say that all the women in the American delegation at Budapest are Communists or pro-Communist, but they are somewhat foolish if they do not know they are playing a very dangerous game, not only for themselves but for their country.

They can mislead the Soviets, who would be delighted to be misled, into thinking that in spite of the results of the last election and the emphasis put on our bipartisan foreign policy there are great numbers in the U.S. who feel as they do. That will strengthen the Soviet government's feeling that they have friends who will be able to change U.S. foreign policy.

It will prolong the tension and increase the Soviet belief that they can continue an expansionist program without fear of interference from the U.S. That would be a most unfortunate impression to create, since it is untrue and not only dangerous to the U.S. but dangerous to the Soviet Union as well.

Peace and security will come only when the U.S.S.R. discovers they cannot intimidate us, that they are not in danger from the U.S. unless they continue to infiltrate into other countries and try to pull off one coup after another to put their Communist-controlled governments into the saddle.

Once they learn to stay within their own borders, they will realize there is nothing to be afraid of in the intercourse among free peoples in Europe or in Asia, and life will be calmer for all of us.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics
  • Communism
         [ LC ]
  • Federal government
         [ LC ]
  • Presidents--Election--1948
  • Press
         [ LC | FAST ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 14, 1948

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.