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

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HYDE PARK—I have been watching with interest the accounts of the Youth Festival in Moscow. Everything is certainly being done to impress the young people from the nations attending this festival that the government of the Soviet Union is interested in youth. Yet this should not seem very astonishing, since we all know that totalitarian governments are always interested in the control of the young people of their countries.

I hope that the young Americans who were tempted by the inexpensive trip offered them by the Soviets will realize that they are being used for propaganda purposes. I read yesterday that one young American had gone to different points in Moscow and insisted on reading portions of the U. N. report on Hungary to the crowd in English. He said there were always some people in the crowd who understood English. This is hardly tactful or polite for a guest, but I suppose he justifies his behavior on the ground that no Soviet newspaper will ever publish this extremely critical report. I would not be surprised if the young gentleman should find it advisable shortly to ask for our embassy's protection. Unwelcome guests have strangely disappeared before in the Soviet Union!

I believe that all visitors to foreign countries are guests. They should go with open minds and report truthfully what they see and how it impresses them. But it hardly seems to me wise to go out deliberately to give information to the people of a country which has not been given them by their own government. Some of the young people who have gone from here are probably Communists. Many are not. But they must be incredibly naive, and even though our State Department was not pleased to have them go, I hope our embassy will give them some good advice while they are there.

It is interesting to see that the Republicans of Wisconsin have chosen Walter Kohler Jr. as their party's nominee for Senator McCarthy's seat in the U.S. Senate. Mr. Kohler was one of the earliest supporters of President Eisenhower and, therefore, far removed from his predecessor who opposed the President in every possible way. The special election, with William Proxmire as the Democrat nominee, will be held on August 27. One can tell very little, by the primary, about the trend of feeling among either Republicans or Democrats in Wisconsin. Under their primary law, a voter may ask for the ballot of either party regardless of which party he belongs to. It will be interesting to watch this election just to see if the trend is not only away from Senator McCarthy's views, but on the whole more toward a change in party support as well.

The President seems to have been annoyed, when asked about the gentleman whom he appointed as American Ambassador to Ceylon, because it had been suggested that this appointment was made in return for party contributions. This is nothing unusual. It has been known to happen in the Democratic party as well! But I think Mr. Gluck, the new appointee, must have had an unhappy time with the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Most appointees at least learn something about the area of the world to which they are going before they come up for a meeting with the committee. No doubt Mr. Gluck will learn. And let us hope he will like Ceylon and that the government of Ceylon will find him a good representative of our country.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, August 5, 1957

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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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.