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

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NEW YORK—I am happy to learn that, at last, the Administration is in full agreement that something must be done to help the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees in the almost-impossible task that he has been trying to do without our help in the past few years. The General Assembly approved, last October, his proposal that a new fund be created to try to find permanent solutions for certain refugees who fall within his mandate. He had a fund previously for emergency assistance only and the new fund will be merged with that.

Nearly a million refugees come within the High Commissioner's mandate. They are mostly to be found in Europe and by the end of 1954 all but about 300,000 were completely assimilated in various countries. The new fund is primarily to help these 300,000, of which 76,000 are still in camps in Germany, Austria, Italy, and Greece. Many of them have been in camps for at least 10 years.

It has been estimated that only about 100,000 refugees of those within the mandate of the High Commissioner can or will be moved to other countries within the next four years. A huge number cannot migrate because of lack of opportunity to resettle, and those who remain must find ways of becoming self-supporting in the community in which they are.

It has been announced that our Administration will request Congress for an appropriation amounting to one-third of the total amount, which is $4,200,000 for the first year.

Giving this help is important to us in our fight against communism because, without help, many of these refugees will go back to their countries of origin which are now Communist-controlled. In that event the free world would be powerless to provide them with a way to earn a living.

On Thursday night I had the pleasure of seeing one of the most-finished actresses I know play the part of a charming old lady.

Eva Le Gallienne did a beautiful piece of acting in "The Southwest Corner." The play seemed to me very uneven. The characters are well drawn, however. The hired man reminded me of many good old New Englanders I have known in the past, and I know a good many insensitive, vulgar creatures like Bea Cannon. Enid Markey certainly plays that part well.

I could not help thinking that sweet and lovely as the old lady was, she ought not to have been so easily fooled, and one longed to have her stand up and say firmly that she would have her cat in the room and that she would not give up her home. She could not be so unworldly as not to see through that vulgar little creature who was taking her over. Therefore, the last act seemed to me completely unreal.

But that fault in the play—if it is a fault—does not spoil the beautiful acting of the old lady, and I loved her from beginning to end. I only hope I can grow old as gracefully.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 5, 1955

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
The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

Published with permission from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

TEI-P5 edition published on April 28, 2017.

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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.