DECEMBER 17, 1956
LOS ANGELES—In the State of Washington last November the people elected to their state offices a complete Democratic ticket. They had elected Democrats to state offices before, but for the first time in many years Democrats won a majority in both the Senate and local House of Representatives. This will give the incoming Governor, Albert Rosellini, the chance to make plans and carry them through the legislature.
The Governor, however, is faced with some rather difficult decisions which his predecessors have been diligently putting off. All the old methods of studies and enquiries have been used and now he is faced with decisions, and no matter what he decides everyone will not be pleased.
The gentleman who was explaining this local picture for me said the only thing for the Governor to do is to make the decisions he thinks wise, but to make them quickly so that those who are opposed will perhaps have time to forget before the next election. This is a shrewd bit of political advice, but there is also an interesting contradiction here. Only one Democratic Congressman was elected from the State of Washington. All the others are Republicans. This seems to me a little inconsistent, but those who told me about it saw nothing strange in it whatsoever.
I was interested to hear Senator Henry Jackson make a short speech describing his recent trip to the Soviet Union and the Near East. The Senator was not favorably impressed with the "freedom" in the Soviet Union. But neither was he wholly happy over our lack of understanding of the menace of the Soviet Union in the Near East and in Europe.
He had crossed over the border from Lebanon into Israel, and his impressions of living conditions of the people in Arab states coincided with my own. These conditions were miserable, and he minced no words in saying so. But he felt that the state of Israel was the one hopeful spot in this whole area. I was very happy to find that his impressions coincided so closely with my own, even though more than a year had elapsed between my last trip and his. I hope Senator Jackson will be able to spur our Executive department in Washington on to having a clearer policy as regards our support of Israel.
Un-American Activities Committee hearings are being carried on in Seattle at the present time, and on Friday most of the front page of the morning paper was given over to the various people who had been called before the committee. Among others there was a young woman lawyer who vehemently denied ever having been a member of the Communist party or having any affiliations with the Communists. In her photograph she looked disturbed and deeply troubled.
I wonder more and more what good is done by these hearings in various parts of the country. We already seem to know whatever is necessary about people who are Communists, and it would seem that the FBI could deal with them as well as the Congressional committee. As to the others, where it is just a fishing expedition, I wonder whether we are not doing more harm than good. Certainly this young woman, from her photographs, is going through an ordeal which could not be beneficial for anyone.
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 17, 1956
Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007
- Brick, Christopher (Editor)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
- Black, Allida M. (Editor)
- Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
- Alhambra, Christopher C. (Electronic Text Editor)
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