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


NEW YORK, Friday—I listened to and watched Mr. Stevenson's speech on TV Tuesday evening and I thought it a courageous and temperate speech. He says that the Democratic Party has been willing to help President Eisenhower to achieve good results in his foreign policy and I hope that cooperation can continue, for it seems to me that in the world there is very little room for party divisions on stands that the United States should take.

I liked particularly his attitude which stressed the fact that peace was nothing which could be accomplished by one single act. The leadership of the U.S. would require continuous watchfulness, willingness to negotiate, and flexibility. Clearly, Mr. Stevenson recognizes the fact that we cannot make pronouncements and lay down rules for the future. We can say what we think is right to do at the present time, but we must be wise enough to realize that time and circumstances change conditions and that we may have to take new attitudes as new situations develop.

It is particularly necessary that the United States should always be ready and willing to sit down at a conference table. Basically the success of the United Nations depends upon the willingness of all nations to do just this, so it is important that we, one of the leading nations, should give the example of the attitude of mind which makes negotiation possible. It is easy to say that there must not be any compromise on principles and then to consider every question a question of principle. This is a mistake and will lead us nowhere in final results.

I was very glad to see that the Foreign Relations Committee of the Senate was sending Senator Mike Mansfield of Montana to look over the situation in Indo–China and the Near East. I have great confidence in the Senator's powers of observation and in his essential fairness of appraisal and I think he will come back with a fund of knowledge and a fair appraisal of what he has seen and heard.

We cannot accept everything which is said to us or shown to us by those representing other nations on face value because there are always two sides to every question. We must appraise from our own point of view what is the fairest attitude to both parties in the dispute and this, I think, Senator Mansfield is well equipped to do. His report will certainly be helpful in what is a very complicated situation in a sorely troubled area of the world.

In New York City the Democratic Primary vote was won by Robert F. Wagner, Jr. This is a real victory, I think, for the Democrats, for if he is elected, which I think he surely will be, we will have an honest administration in City Hall.

The problems, however, which he will inherit are the same problems which were inherited by Mayor Impellitteri. They are problems of long standing and they will require able financial administration and a determination to act in the best interests of the people of the City regardless of the pressures brought to bear by many special interests. I think this can be done, but it will require a very wise choice of advisers and great courage. These qualities, I think, Mr. Wagner has and therefore I hope he will be elected and I wish him good luck in his efforts to achieve success.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, September 19, 1953

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.