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

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NEW YORK—Albert Schweitzer has written a book, called "Peace or Atomic War," which is having a considerable impact on many people in many parts of the world. Here in this country those who believe that it is possible to ban nuclear tests for the good of humanity are using this book as a basis for their arguments.

I think, on the whole, there is a growing feeling throughout this country that if it is necessary to have some tests for the peaceful development of the use of atomic energy that these tests should be held jointly and that all the nations should participate in any knowledge acquired. And at the same time, of course, real work should be put into finding ways in which such tests can be held safely.

Governor Nelson Rockefeller of New York suggests that tests can be held underground without doing anyone any harm. I am not enough of a scientist to know whether this is possible, but, as I understand it, the governor is thinking primarily of tests for military purposes.

I believe that these tests could be eliminated and the emphasis could be put on peacetime objectives with the stipulation that the whole world profit by information, which would remove fear among nations.

Of course, it must be admitted that discoveries made for peacetime use can be diverted into use for military purposes. But if they are shared in the first place, then nobody has gained an advantage over anyone else, and it seems to me that this is the safest way to proceed.

Our artists, particularly those in Hollywood who have a flair for using publicity, have formed a Hollywood branch for a sane nuclear policy which is headed by Steve Allen. This group says that its aim is to let President Eisenhower know "that the people are behind him in regard to the banning of nuclear tests."

It is good to have the artists lead, and I think they will find a considerable following in the country.

There has been sent to me some material about a National Committee on Employment of Youth, which is a new division of the 55-year-old National Child Labor Committee.

All of us have been hearing a great deal for a long time about the employment of older people and about not wasting their experience. But it is new, to me at least, to find a committee working on getting jobs for the young people.

For a long time we have worked to bring about such regulations as would prevent premature and harmful employment of children and young people. As a result of this, however, the opportunities open to them—and which many of them need for development and to earn money to help their families and to continue their own education—have been very much curtailed. One of the contributing factors in the formation of youth gangs, I believe, is the difficulty young people have in getting any kind of part-time jobs or even full-time jobs when they are on holiday. And yet to be able to be constructively busy is what every young person needs.

I hope this National Committee on Employment of Youth will be able to do some valuable work that will be a contribution in the juvenile delinquency field.

E. R.

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

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About this document

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