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

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NEW YORK—Adlai E. Stevenson's speech at McGill University in Montreal the other day, while it did not go into specifics, was a blueprint for a new, broad outlook on world affairs, and anyone who read it must feel some sense of dejection upon reading the daily headlines.

What is lacking in Washington today is imagination and breadth of world vision. The President of the United States censures Congress for a continuation of wheat legislation, which he considers disastrous, yet he has offered, or rather his Secretary of Agriculture has offered, only the same old answers, which have proved to be no answers at all.

The world is hungry. We have the capacity to produce more food. If we should not produce what we now produce, then we should discuss with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations what we should grow. Surpluses are needed to feed a hungry world.

We may have the wrong surpluses, but who is finding out what the right surpluses are? Certainly, not Mr. Ezra Benson. Who is finding out how the economic aspects of this program can be worked out to our advantage as well as to that of the rest of the world?

Somehow I feel more frustrated by the apparent lack of comprehension of what the real needs of the world are and the unwillingness to buckle down to finding the answers on the part of Democratic Congressional leaders. Senator Hubert Humphrey has made a start, and he is backed by Representative Chester Bowles and a number of others. But the appointment of a topnotch committee to look at the whole situation as a world problem is the only real solution.

Perhaps it can be done only by the President, and he won't do it. One can only be made sad because he cannot comprehend our great opportunity and grasp it for the sake of peace.

The tremendous interest with which the vote in the Senate on Lewis L. Strauss' confirmation as Secretary of Commerce is being watched by the general public is, to me, rather astonishing.

One of our village gentlemen, in passing Senator Lyndon Johnson at our Memorial Day services in Hyde Park, was heard to ask: "Senator, how are you voting on the Strauss nomination?"

My astonishment that this particular gentleman should care at all was greater perhaps than the Senator's embarrassment at being asked such a question!

I have been reading with some interest the rather new newspaper column written by former baseball player Jackie Robinson. Like all of us who write a column, he has his ups and downs, but he is worth reading because when he is good he is very good and he never lacks courage.

I don't believe any regular columnist is equally good in every one written, but from reading them steadily we can get much from them. I do believe Doris Fleeson can keep an excellent level on politics, and in writing I seldom see her equalled. And Joe Alsop's gloom is to me very stimulating!

Are you looking for a book for a youngster? I can recommend one, called "They Like You Better," by James B. Garfield, a blind author who a couple of years ago wrote the successful "Follow the Leaders."

In the new book we learn that animals and people will like you better if you learn not to be afraid. The animals are delightful and so is the boy, and the old pet-shop keeper is a character worth studying. So, I think any young people, boys or girls, would enjoy this book.


(Copyright, 1959, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 4, 1959

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
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.