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

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NEW YORK, Friday—There was a shocking column in the N.Y. Herald Tribune the other day which I congratulate the authors for having the courage to write and the paper for having the courage to print. The public has been led to believe, according to the authors, that a large number of security cases were let out of the government service who were Communists. Yet many of them were people who were resigning or being let go and this did not mean they were Communists.

That this was the case seems to me quite shocking. I recognize that the Administration in fighting Senator McCarthy is looking for something which would make the public feel that the Administration is as anxious to rid the government of Communists as are the Congressional investigators. But I think it would be far more reassuring to the people as a whole to know that neither the Congressional investigating committees nor the departments has been able to find any great number of Communists in the ranks of government workers.

I think Mr. Ford's statement the other day that he found many of the foreign representatives in the United Nations mystified about our attitude on communism in this country and feeling that we were a great big frightened giant looking for a mouse with a club, was most interesting. It never does give confidence to people to find that someone they feel they should rely on for calm and clear judgment is frightened.

This mad rush on the part of Senator McCarthy to accuse people in government of communism has forced us into searching for Communists under every bed when as a matter of fact the Senator discovered comparatively few in positions of importance. I think the performance has been harmful to the trust that citizens as a whole have in the conduct of their government and in their government servants.

Mr. Dulles may well believe that in the Foreign Service the witch hunt in the Department of State has had no effect. On the whole our people are so loyal and courageous that as long as they stay in the service they will try to send in reports which do represent their thinking. However, I know of a number of young people in the service who were just beginning to be of value who had resigned because they did not feel it was worth staying in under present conditions. That is a loss to the Foreign Service in the future and the mere fact that in the recent past fewer young people have been applying to enter is an indication of how they feel.

I went to the meeting of the Federation of Jewish Charities this week and it was certainly impressive to see how many organizations were represented. Afterwards I attended a meeting of the New York City March of Dimes committee.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 23, 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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.