My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

MARRAKECH, Morocco—Morocco does not lean to communism, but if its economy is not bolstered to meet the needs of its people, it may, like other countries, question the value of democracy. It is essential for the west to remember and think of these North African states in relation to the Near East and world problems.

Mr. Agar, who is traveling with us as a representative of the Sultan, is a most interesting man. He understands the Moroccan problems, appreciating what has been left by the French protectorate that is good—excellent roads, a system of justice which may not have been even-handed in the past but can be made so now, and the facilities for tourists, which include many good hotels.

All these are helpful to the new independent government, but there is much to be organized and adapted to new conditions.

Having seen India and Pakistan, various Near Eastern countries, and Morocco, I look at the colonial problems with increased understanding. From the point of view of an occupying country, there cannot be complete altruism. There must be economic returns. The question is: How much and how long?

The British and French have been practical, but they had a conscience, too, in their colonial governments. Both have left something of value to the natives of the countries once under their tutelage. Consequently a closer relationship may develop, as states get their freedom, with the countries which free them if an equitable economic base is worked out.

A walk in the garden, one or two talks and some writing took up my morning, then after lunch we went to the spice market and other shops. The streets between the shops here are covered with bamboo to keep off the sun.

Late in the afternoon we visited Villa Taylor, which now is owned by Count de Breteuil. It is closed, but Mme. de Bretuil came from Rabat to greet us and to give each lady a Moroccan necklace from her husband's collection.

The house and gardens of the villa are beautiful and from the tower, which I climbed, there is an unforgettable view of the snow-covered Atlas Mountains.

I saw rooms in the villa which had been occupied by my husband and Sir Winston Churchill during their conference here in World War II and was grateful for the hospitality of our kind hostess.

On our way home we stopped for a moment at an American Red Cross club to see what was being done there for our servicemen and I congratulated Miss Anderson and Miss Hoffman, the young women in charge.

PNews, NSJ, 9 April 1957