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


NEW YORK, Wednesday—Day by day we see the question of military aid to Pakistan or a military agreement with Pakistan discussed in our newspapers and each time it seems to me it is being made more clear to us that, whether reasonably or not, still the Indians are completely opposed to this arrangement. They feel that Pakistan is safe from the Soviet Union, having both Afghanistan and India on its borders, and that in accepting military aid from the United States, Pakistan will bring the cold war to the Indian world.

We seem to be jeopardizing the friendship of 370 million people in order to establish a military agreement with 70 million people. It is certainly not fear of Pakistan that makes India appear to object to this, for even with the United States military aid Pakistan would not be a threat to India because of India's predominance in her area of the world as to resources and population.

It is perhaps natural that Pakistan should seek to strengthen her position. From the United States point of view there is undoubtedly no feeling that we want to control either India or Pakistan and because the idea of political control is very far from our thoughts we are sometimes surprised that the rest of the world does not take it for granted that our intentions are good—that all we are trying to do is to make the world safer for democracy.

In the old sense of military bases and military alliance this arrangement with Pakistan seems to be entirely different. We are simply willing to strengthen Pakistan against the Communist world. It is true that India has tried all along to remain completely neutral in the cold war and this strengthening of Pakistan by a western democracy might well seem from the point of view of the Indians a dangerous step. There is no question that we want to be friendly with both India and Pakistan and there is no question that we trust both countries as far as their desire for freedom and democracy goes.

It may well be that we would strengthen Pakistan more by economic aid than by military aid and perhaps give India less cause for suspicion. This whole question it seems to me requires careful study and thought. It is important for the people of the United States to demonstrate in every possible way their friendship for both countries and their feelings that it is important not to do anything that endangers that friendship. It may well be that a change in the type of aid that we propose may be the solution to this problem. All of us may feel that India is unreasonable but there are times when all nations are unreasonable. Some people have even felt that that could be said sometimes of the United States.

A new mayor of New York City, Mayor Robert F. Wagner, Jr., has been inaugurated and taken his oath of office with the promise to do the best he can for the city. I feel that in appointing as Health Commissioner Dr. Leona Baumgartner, he has taken a step which is extremely encouraging. She is an able administrator and familiar with government work, and she knows the city and its health problems well. She will not have an easy task but she is well equipped for her work.

In the appointment of Judge Anna Kross he chose also a woman with long experience. All women will want to extend their good wishes to these two women appointees and offer their cooperation in order to help them to bring about the best possible administration in their departments.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 7, 1954

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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