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

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WASHINGTON, Friday—When one comes to Washington one becomes much more alive to the struggles that inevitably go on between the Executive Branch and the Legislative Branch of the government.

I have watched with interest the free advice given out by the gentleman who was sent by a Congressional Committee, as I understand it, to look over the situation in China. It has caused me to wonder whether this did not impinge at some point on the prerogatives of the Executive Branch. After all, we should be getting through the State Department better information from and about China than any visitor, who could not possibly have the background of a trained observer nor the knowledge of past history in that area, can possibly furnish either Congress or the President.

If the President wishes to send special envoys out to bring him back specific information, that is something he could and should do, and the State Department and all other officials in the field should cooperate.

There is no question but what Congress has the right to all the information that any Executive Department has, but there is an old saying that too many cooks spoil the broth. And I wonder if too many special agents, without too much coordination, are not complicating the scene for everyone concerned, including Congress and the President!

I should like to see much closer coordination of existing agencies that work in fields impinging on each other, so that the President, through some agent, might gather all this information together and keep it from being duplicated and becoming entangled with other lines that may or may not be necessary.

At the present time all of us are breathlessly watching developments in Palestine.

It is quite evident that the situation there is not the rather simple one of the State of Israel versus the Arab State. Many other ramifications enter into it, but it seems to me that we are forced to accept the situation as it now is. One can neither go back nor ignore what has been done in the past months.

Going on from here, it seems that we should urge the various Arab states to negotiate with Israel and come to a peaceful settlement.

It is evident that there is no real unity within the Arab states themselves. It also is evident that a new nation, born of misery and suffering and injustices in many parts of the world, is now being developed. It is true that the component parts come from many nations, that they will have a variety of difficulties learning to become a common community, but suffering has brought them together.

These peoples have a common religion, with various modifications, but still an old-time common tradition. Their objective and that of the rest of the world at the present time should be to limit warfare as much as possible. There has been enough war in the world and the time has come to prove that through sensible negotiations and arrangements people can come to an understanding and to final settlements.

It is true that the Arab refugees form a difficult problem, but with proper handling even that difficulty should be resolved and peace should be a possibility.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 15, 1949

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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.