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

[This column has emendations. View original version]


NEW YORK—In the situation that exists between India and Communist China it seems as though there was a crying need for a United Nations commission to be set up to settle the question of the border territory under dispute. But, of course, this is impossible because Communist China, not being a member of the U.N., would not submit to any decision or any investigation on the part of the U.N.

These difficulties must be particularly trying to Prime Minister Nehru. Now matters seem to be further complicated by the statement of the Indian Foreign Ministry that "pressure and threats" were used by the Chinese Communists to extort statements from 10 captured Indian policemen. Though the prisoners were later released, such conduct by the Red Chinese must make it extremely difficult for the Indian government to continue a neutral and conciliatory attitude.

During the past few days, in New York and Washington, D.C., we have had two examples of a growing sense of courage on the part of government officials at different levels—one by Mayor Robert F. Wagner and the other by Attorney General William P. Rogers.

In New York Mayor Wagner ousted the city's director of the Bureau of Weights and Measures, Fred J. Loughran, on information obtained in the city-wide investigation "on charges that a ring had cheated housewives through short weighing and false grading of meat." Mr. Loughran had been head of the bureau for 14 years. Such drastic action is so rare that we take note of it with pleasure.

At the same time in Washington Attorney General Rogers at a news conference issued a blast at the State of Mississippi that was like a breath of fresh air. He had the courage to say that Mississippi's handling of the Mack Charles Parker lynching case was a "travesty on justice."

Whether this means a change on the part of the whole Administration in its approach to Federal responsibility in racial crimes is not yet clear. But to have as important a person as the Attorney General make this statement is encouraging to all of us who are interested in the protection of civil rights.

Mr. Rogers' statement was documented when he said that the Justice Department turned over the FBI report of the lynching investigation to Mississippi officials last May 25, but that the Mississippi grand jury considering the case early this month had never called any FBI agents to testify nor asked that the FBI produce any of the evidence it had offered, including fingerprints.

This brands the members of the grand jury as being unwilling to consider evidence that might have convicted the murderers.

If this is the way some states are going to exercise their rights without any responsibility, it is going to influence more and more people to a consideration of certain limitations to such rights without a final court of appeal.

I have just been sent a copy of a book, called "Happy Landings in Europe" by Nathan Sharp. The royalties from this book are being donated to the Damon Runyon Cancer Fund.

This is a generous thing for any author to do, and I mention it here because travel books are becoming so popular that people are always asking me what to read before they start on a trip. I think it is a very wise move to prepare oneself in this way, because it always adds interest to what one is going to see.


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

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, November 20, 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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Available under licence from the Estate of Anna Eleanor Roosevelt.

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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.