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NEW YORK, Tuesday—I think I should tell you a little more about the head of the Gold Coast Students' Association, a tall African boy who has been here six years and has two more years before getting his medical degree. Then he will return to work with his people.

I was very much impressed by him. He knew the first efforts at establishing some kind of a cultural organization to acquaint the people of this country with the arts and crafts of the African tribes had been taken over by the Communists under the leadership of Paul Robeson. The students whom he represents, however, want to try again, and they are anxious for advice and for careful backing.

They have sent some people back to their own governments to get what help they can from there in collecting exhibits for this country. I hope they will be successful, for we do know remarkably little about the people of Africa, and as this continent develops economically we should have a greater knowledge of the situation.

I asked this young man what, in his opinion, had brought about the Mau-Mau situation in Kenya, and he said it was the result of too little education. He said he hoped that Britain would develop a wider educational system in all her colonies.

Everybody seems to take it for granted that nothing can prevent the President from carrying out his campaign promises on the question of the submerged oil lands off Texas, California, Florida and Louisiana.

Senator Lister Hill of Alabama has a proposal which, briefly, would keep the title of the tidelands oil resources in the hands of the Federal government but would lease such fields to private oil-development companies. The royalties derived from these leases would be used to pay for our defense buildup and for Federal educational aid to the states.

The tidelands oil bill, which has been passed by the House and is now being debated in the Senate, would give clear title to the states contiguous to these tidelands for all these resources. The area is defined as three miles from low-water mark, except in the case of Texas and Florida where for historical reasons it extends out 10 miles. The estimated worth is between 40 and 200 billion dollars.

The traditional liberal and Democratic view is that these lands belong to the nation. The Supreme Court has on several occasions held that all submerged lands belong to the Federal government. Clearly, it seems to me that the people of the country are being robbed for the benefit of a few people in certain states.

E. R.

(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1953, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 6, 1953

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University Old Main Building, Suite 406 1951 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

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TEI-P5 edition published on 2017-04-28

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