My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

[This column has emendations. View original version]

Print ColumnText Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

DAYTON, Ohio , Wednesday—The news story in one of our New York City newspapers describing the scene when Senator Joseph R. McCarthy apparently roared his displeasure at Samuel J. Boykin of the State Department was something to read. Mr. Boykin is the department's acting director of the Bureau of Security and Consular Affairs. As I read it, it sounded like a scene out of a play in which secret police were trying to intimidate a Moscow prisoner. Of course, it may all have been sweetness and light and good fun, but it did not read that way.

I remember how surprised I was many years ago when I was a young girl at being told that the police in Paris had to be notified of every stranger who came into the city. The hotels, rooming houses or anybody entertaining a foreign guest had to be sure to let the police know. I thought it was shocking and wondered what business was it of the police.

I had come from a country where the police had nothing to do with people except to protect them, as it was their duty, or to apprehend them if they committed a crime.

I have learned since that it is essential for the police to watch criminals and that includes subversives, but I am beginning to wonder whether we are not going a little too far in following the example of the countries that either have had or still have dictators and even those countries who have kept a close watch upon the foreigners in their midst.

I do not suppose that anyone is surprised that Democrats are being put out of jobs in Washington. That is what usually happens when there is a change of administration. The only difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Democrats are never quite as thorough as the Republicans in this respect.

Civil Service has been built up to protect the kind of employee who should continue in his job regardless of what party is in power.

Civil Service people make the machinery of government operate and have nothing to do with partisan politics or policy-making. I doubt, however, if there will be many of these so-called protected Civil Service employees by the time the Republican machine has had time to do a complete job.

The first suggestion I have seen of any break between the Republic of China and the Communists was in a little report stating that some businessmen returning from Finland reported the possibility of a move similar to Tito's taking place in China.

Helsinki has been visited by a Chinese business mission that wanted to deal directly with Finland and not through the Soviet Union.

The Finns make prefabricated houses, which are much in demand in China, and they may prefer to sell direct to the Republic of China rather than to pay the fee charged by the Soviets for being middle men.

These are little straws in the wind but we view them with satisfaction, for they must cause the Kremlin hours of anxiety. May the anxiety increase. A few Yugoslavs with their fierce nationalistic spirit would complicate the Soviet situation very much.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Dayton (Ohio, United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 19, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
    [ ISNI ]
  • Black, Allida M. (Editor)
    [ VIAF | ISNI ]
  • Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]
  • Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
    [ VIAF | ORCID ]

Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

XML master last modified on: June 9, 2017.

HTML version generated and published on: November 10, 2018.

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