AUGUST 16, 1954
HYDE PARK, Sunday—My attention has been called to certain erroneous statements that appeared in an article published on July 28, 1954 in the Chicago Tribune. The article contains accusations about Judge Dorothy Kenyon which I think she herself is quite capable of refuting now, as she did once before. But in direct quotes there is a statement by Senator Joseph McCarthy which reads as follows:"I didn't know then that she (Judge Kenyon) was a Communist. Since then I find she was. According to the testimony of two reliable witnesses, former members of the Communist party, she was a member of the party. She had only one job—to attach herself to an individual high in public life and to influence the writing of that individual."
The paper goes on to say that McCarthy later told a reporter that Mrs. Roosevelt was the person to whom Miss Kenyon had been assigned, according to the evidence of the former Communists.
As various Congressional hearings have gone on, these "reliable witnesses," former Communists, are being discredited more and more. But I would like to state for the information of the public and of Senator McCarthy that, while I have known Judge Kenyon for a long time, she has never been in any way close to me. I have never discussed her ideas or mine on most important subjects, so there is no way in which she could have influenced anything I ever wrote.
It happens that I have a comparatively small number of intimate friends. To carry out an assignment such as this article says was given to Judge Kenyon, would require a great degree of intimacy and rather constant contact. But while we have been members of a number of organizations, such as the Americans For Democratic Action and various women's groups, I never saw the judge very often—and I even saw very little of her when she was U.S. member on the Commission for the Status of Women in the U.N. I never tried to influence her positions, because she represented the government of the United States and had a right to discuss those positions with the State Department, and, therefore, it was none of my business.
I have a great respect for Judge Kenyon's ability and I have always found her honest and courageous. She proved once to the satisfaction of a Senate committee that she was not a Communist. I hope they will grant her a hearing on this latest accusation and that she will again prove this to their satisfaction. In the meantime, I shall continue to believe in her as against the testimony of these so "reliable" ex-Communists, since it is part of the American tradition to believe a person innocent until he is proven guilty. At least I can testify to the fact that the part of the accusation which said she was assigned to influence my writings cannot be true, because in no way did she ever attempt to do so.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1954, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 16, 1954
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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