My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was sitting with a man in his office this morning and he suddenly looked at me and said: "My wife and I were listening to the radio last night and she said, 'I wish we could have the nice peaceful times we used to have. Now, it seems to me, we have only confusion—confusion within the party in power and confusion of the people as to what they shall think!'"

I had to laugh because I felt a little confused myself when I read in the paper this morning the following headline, "McCarthy Balks Showdown on Army's Charges."

How can a man who is certainly under fairly serious charges, and with an assistant who is equally vulnerable, balk at having an investigation to determine whether he or the Executive arm of the government represented by the Army is actually telling the truth?

Today, I understand, Senator McCarthy is willing to have a hearing at a time he considers convenient.

I must say that Gen. Ridgway's testimony gave one a feeling that he at least, as Army Chief of Staff, was worried over the "new look" in our defense program. It seems to me, who like many other people in the United States can have no knowledge of military affairs, that we are still likely to need an adequate Army and Navy, since I doubt if we will be the people to begin using atomic bombs.

Somehow it does not seem to me that the conscience of our people will permit us to begin to use the weapons which we know will wipe out our civilization. If we began to use them, the whole world would use them, and it seems to me that what we call civilization would have vanished for good and all.

So while I believe in a strong air force and while I also believe that one must change to meet changing conditions, I would not feel we had reached the point where we had eliminated the possibility of using an Army and a Navy.

I still feel the safety of the people lies in a strong police force within the United Nations in which all of us contribute percentage-wise. There should also be an agreement on disarmament of individual nations in a way which would really create a sense of safety because no nation would have sufficient military power to undertake aggression alone and try to dominate the world.

The type of disarmament suggested over and over again by the Soviet Union is unequal and leaves greater power in the hands of the Soviet Union than it would leave in the hands of its neighbors.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 18, 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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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MEP edition publlished on 2008-06-30

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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.