My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I was glad to see in the paper that the funds contributed by peoples throughout the world which will help restore Westminster Abbey has reached proportions which allow these restorations to be started. The overhauling will take 10 years, but certainly none of us could bear to think of Westminster Abbey not being a permanent monument, and all old buildings need repairs.

I am sure the United States has done more than its share in contributing to this fund. But then we will also get greater satisfaction probably than any other people for I think we visit Great Britain in greater numbers than any other nationality.

I was glad also to read about the proposed "Help Korea Train ." President Eisenhower gave his approval to this plan which hopes to raise 10 million dollars in cash contributions and 600 freight carloads of materials and equipment to rebuild Korean homes, schools, farm and industry.

Many of us are not fully aware of how much our soldiers in Korea have already contributed to rehabilitation of that war-torn land. Touched by the sufferings of the people and finding South Korean troops gallant allies, our men have already contributed more than 25 million dollars in various ways to Korean relief. And they have put in endless hours of work in construction of schools, hospitals, roads and bridges.

Dr. Howard Rusk is chairman of the American-Korean Foundation and Mrs. Wendell Willkie is chairman of the women's division. American railroads are donating the use of the cars spotted around the country to collect materials which will eventually be routed to the West Coast for shipment to Korea.

I was a little troubled in reading of Mr. Brownell's recommendations for new laws in "the fight against communism ." Mr. Brownell said much had already been done to break the communist conspiracy and he told of steps planned to intensify the anti-Communist drive.

It is these steps that worry me and that I hope to understand more clearly in the near future. For instance, "A bill will allow an employer to dismiss from defense plants during a national emergency any person whose record shows that he is likely to engage in sabotage or espionage." Is not this a great departure from our old–time practices? Again there is a proposal that the "Subversive Activities Control Board will conduct hearings to determine if a union or industrial organization is dominated by the Communist party. If it is so found, the law will prohibit any employee from paying dues or otherwise supporting such organizations and would deny to any member of such group employment in a defense plant."

It seems to me both these things take away from the responsibility of unions to protect their members and to keep their membership free from Communists. I wonder if these bills are not aimed more at weakening labor unions than actually at protecting us from communism. Certainly it seems to me we need more knowledge and more understanding of the real objectives and possibilities underlying such legislation.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 15, 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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.