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


CHICAGO, Friday—I was interested the other day in reading the request of the Federal Loyalty Review Board for permission to consider not only a person's present loyalty but any past evidence of association with questionable groups and to resolve doubtful cases in favor of the government. Hiram Bingham stated that at present the Communist party is working underground and it is practically impossible to prove who are party card holders. That, of course, is obvious, and it seems to me that any reasonable doubt should always be resolved in favor of the government. This certainly should be so concerning positions in which papers and knowledge are available that might be of use to an enemy.

On the other hand, I cannot help thinking that a good deal of discretion must be left to the loyalty board in their decisions. I have always felt, for instance, that quite obviously many up-and-coming energetic young men, who were in college and about to enter the labor market in the early 1930's, were justified in questioning whether our economic system was meeting the needs of the people as a whole. The exploration at that time of what communism proposed would not have been a subversive act in any way.

I think on loyalty boards there should always be people qualified to make distinctions between inquiring minds who seek solutions to questions rising out of our present-day situation and the subversive individual who acts under the orders of a foreign government.

Where there is real doubt as to the actual loyalty to the country on the part of anyone employed in the government, it seems unthinkable to take the risk of putting someone into a government job. It will be interesting to see how the new loyalty review board acts on this subject. They have the double duty of preserving our traditional liberties and must think of every question from the two points of view.

The organizations favoring world government are trying to get the state legislatures to pass resolutions in favor of a World Federal Government. They say that this is being done to strengthen the United Nations, but, of course, it requires a complete change in the setup of the U.N.

They are asking that the U.N. no longer be an association of governments but an association of peoples. They want a world parliament with elected representatives from the different nations; they would impose taxes to raise funds and they would pass laws that would be effective in all the nations.

Getting these resolutions passed in the state legislatures is a roundabout way of attacking the whole problem in the hope of presenting Congress with a formidable demand for this type of world government. I think these groups must be forgetting that all the other nations must want this type of government, too, and that there are a great many difficulties involved that have not been clearly discussed before the American people as a whole.

Before this state-by-state resolution business is carried on much further I hope there will be a much more effective discussion of what might be the actual results of this rather idealistic talk about world government.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Chicago (Ill., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 17, 1951

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.