OCTOBER 19, 1949
NEW YORK, Tuesday—That is an interesting story about the girl photographer who acted as an undercover agent for the FBI, and testified at the trial of the 11 convicted Communists here. But I am a little bit surprised if our government accepts the help of someone who undertakes a considerably risky job for it and then it does not make some kind of decent financial arrangements to compensate not only for the risk that was run but for the difficulties that the individual, on returning to normal living, finds in getting employment!
That part of the story struck me as very odd because I am quite sure that the FBI people who ordinarily work on these jobs get decent pay, and if you are going to pick up civilians to do the same kind of work they certainly should get no less pay.
The Secret Service and the FBI in this country do such remarkably good jobs that it is always a surprise when you hear something that you don't think is compatible with the realities of the situation. Certainly, this story, if it is correct, is a very strange procedure!
We drove down early from Hyde Park to Lake Success yesterday morning, and during the morning session we finished the discussion on the Polish item that dealt with the treatment of immigrant labor, especially refugee labor. This time few accusations were levelled against the United States. It probably has occurred to the Soviet bloc that we haven't let in as many people as seem to want to come, and our Congress has refused again to pass a Displaced Persons bill that would have made it possible for a reasonably small number to come to our shores!
In addition, the Russians may be finding out that the labor movement in this country is fairly strong, and that any suggestion of using imported labor to lower the wages of American workmen would hardly be received with cheers by either the AFL or the CIO.
I was accused by the delegate from the Ukraine of treating the question in "playful" manner when it should be treated most seriously. As a matter of fact, I agree with him. It is a most serious question, and I thought I was being serious, but it seems to me that the whole question will get more serious treatment and detailed consideration from the International Labor Organization where representatives of the three groups involved—labor, employer and government—are dealing with this question very constantly.
The fact that the Soviet Union does not belong to the ILO is something that can be speedily remedied. Nothing prevents the Russians from joining any of the specialized agencies and it would be profitable for them as well as for the rest of the world if they would do so.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1949, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC., REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] New York (N.Y., United States)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, October 19, 1949
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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