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


NEW YORK, Monday—I was very pleased by the fact that Senator Vandenberg had the courage to speak out for an "unpartisan" United States foreign policy and a new peace survey.

He realizes that our aid program is important, particularly in Asia and the Far East, because the economic situation is a deciding factor in the appeal of communism. He knows why it is important that the policy, which has been successful in Europe, should be extended to other areas of the world.

When I had a few Republican Senators on my television program they stated they believed in a bipartisan foreign policy. By that they meant that Republican members of Congress were consulted before, and not after, policies were made. I can see that it might be very annoying if they felt that they were asked only to be rubber stamps and had no opportunity to have their say before a policy was settled.

On the other hand, the type of attack the Republican Senators are planning, according to yesterday's newspapers, on Secretary Acheson and the State Department, is so plainly irresponsible and partisan that it does not lead to a desire to consult with the department. All the accusations made so far have been trifling ones.

I most certainly believe that if there are Communists in the State Department the cases should be completely investigated, and those found to be disloyal should be ousted. But I do not believe in irresponsible, unsubstantiated attacks that get front-page stories in the newspapers.

Meantime, we have given the Communists the pleasure of seeing us at each other's throats. They can rightly say that many people believe these attacks. It hurts our prestige and makes the representation of our diplomats in every country in the world more difficult. Incidentally, we should remember that everyone working for the State Department is carefully screened before being accepted, even down to the clerical workers.

The vast majority of public servants, in the State Department or in any other department, are loyal and honest. If the present unsubstantiated attacks continue there will be fewer and fewer of the young and ambitious who will be willing to go into government work. Government salaries are usually lower than what people can obtain in private industry, so the advantages of government work has always been in prestige, in a little longer holiday and a little more security both in tenure of office and in pension for service. These advantages are rapidly disappearing.

The story about the Czech planes that were kidnapped in the air, points out the difference between a communistic and a democratic state.

If a number of our planes had been kidnapped by Communists and flown to Russia, I doubt if any of those on board would be allowed to return to their countries. But in the United States zone of Germany, where the tables were reversed, those who are Communists were allowed to go home.

That ought to bring a little sense of security to the hearts of the Communists!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 28, 1950

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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.