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NEW YORK—I have just received from the Maico Company, Inc., which is an organization I know nothing about, a pamphlet which says: "There are three alternatives—which do you choose?"

At the top in red ink there is written: "Dear Mrs. Roosevelt: In view of the problems, how can you honestly answer this question? The note is signed L. A. Watson, Pres."

On reading the pamphlet I find that the gentleman desires us to take "a strong, determined policy that risks war with Red China now but offers the possibility of solution and future peace." The other two alternatives, which he does not advocate, are: "Peace now, probable catastrophe for our children in 15 or 20 years by a policy of complete U.S. withdrawal from Asia," and "peace now, but not for many years, by a policy of gradual retreat and yielding."

I cannot see why anyone has to take any of these three alternatives.

If we are firm but willing to discuss, and in our discussions are reasonable and fair, if we use astuteness and bargain wisely and well, there is no reason in the world why we cannot have peace in Asia without risking war.

We can use the United Nations, we can make friends instead of enemies in Asia—but we must be fair and reasonable.

I see by the newspapers that Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek on Formosa is suggesting that an effort be made to reconquer the mainland, so what he means is that the U.S. would take the mainland for him. I hardly think that is a practical suggestion.

Formosans should be allowed to decide their own destiny. This should be done in consultation with the U.N. We cannot and should not control the great continent of Asia. The countries there want freedom and they are entitled to freedom. We can make friends there, since it is quite evident, as brought out at the Bandung conference, that there are many in that area who do not wish to be under Communist domination.

With wisdom and statemanship we do not have to accept any of the three alternatives presented by the Maico Company. Peace in Asia can be achieved, and I think we have men in our midst who are wise and can achieve it. But our people should not be fooled by anything as foolish as being asked to decide on three alternatives when none of them really faces the situation as it actually exists.

(Distributed by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

E.R.


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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 4, 1955

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University Old Main Building, Suite 406 1951 F Street, NW Washington, DC 20052

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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.
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