SEPTEMBER 28, 1951
NEW YORK, Thursday—Henry A. Wallace's letter to President Truman together with the reports he prepared on China in 1944 and just released have emphasized for me something I have tried to say a number of times. That is, that the way in which most Americans accept as gospel truth any testimony given by an ex-Communist, Mr. Louis Budenz or any others, is without any question somewhat dangerous.
It is evident, as time goes on, that those who testify, unwittingly or not, have followed a similar pattern. The first time they testify they don't seem to be able to remember what they later recall in great detail. It is an obvious fact that as one talks over things—almost anything—one begins to convince oneself that certain things happened that never happened at all. I do not question that part of anyone's testimony is not given in good faith, but that does not make it any more accurate.
So again I would like to emphasize that more power should be given to the FBI, which has to have proof before it makes any statements, and less open testimony should be given out in Congressional committees, which do reveal statements without demanding necessary proof. Later such testimony as the latter may prove utterly unconvincing, but the accusations that have been made remain in people's minds and the damage can rarely be undone.
There was an item in the newspaper the other day about Rep. John E. Rankin of Mississippi objecting to the admission of a three-year-old baby adopted in Japan by an American Air Force captain and his wife. The child is half-Japanese and the story goes that Representative Rankin objected to the bill to admit this child, saying that such bills were "destroying our immigration laws" and "we were being flooded by un-American elements."
If a baby of three can be un-American in any way except by the fact that both his parents are not Americans, we will need a bit of convincing to believe it.
If we don't think that a child, only one of whose parents is not an American, can become a good American if he starts out trying at the age of three, then there are a great many people in this country who have long considered themselves American citizens who should consider themselves foreigners.
Parents' Magazine has had its 25th birthday and the October issue is the anniversary issue.
This magazine has really been useful to both parents and young people in many ways. I am constantly finding good suggestions as I turn over the pages, though I am no longer in the parent-age bracket to which this magazine is actually addressed.
For instance, I read with great interest an article on sending a child to dog school. I would never have thought of it, but I could see the valuable lessons that small boys and girls might learn going to "classes" with their dogs.
There is a fascinating layout of pictures in the new issue showing children's bedrooms and playrooms. With all my children grown up, I only have youngsters as visitors in my home these days, but I would like to have a really good playroom for children of all ages to enjoy. I am sure I will find sooner or later the suggestions for such a room if I keep on looking.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1951, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 28, 1951
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)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
- Black, Allida M. (Editor)
- Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
- Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
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