FEBRUARY 18, 1960
NEW YORK—Soviet Premier Nikita Khrushchev took the opportunity of his visit to India to attack foreign aid given by the United States as being purely selfish, whereas that given by the Soviet Union is, by implication, unselfish.
As a matter of fact, foreign aid given by any nation is never totally unselfish, because helping a nation to improve its economic condition means that that nation will produce something that is salable and, therefore, become a better market for the goods of some other nation. This means a better economic world atmosphere and is much to be desired by all nations.
Mr. Khrushchev also spoke slightingly of the new idea of several nations joining together to give foreign aid. Yet, this is a much more unselfish way of giving aid and is designed to give the country receiving the aid more sense of security, because then no one nation can be accused of attempting to dominate.
Mr. Khrushchev should understand that his remark, "If aid is to be rendered, we will render it ourselves," will not be too reassuring to those nations that are rather hopeful of keeping themselves not only politically but economically free from the domination of any foreign nation. Also, his slighting remark about United Nations aid will not be acceptable in India, I believe, for India is very conscious of the value of work done by various of the U.N. specialized agencies.
President Eisenhower's message asking our Congress for a foreign aid appropriation called for half the aid to be of a military kind, the other half economic aid.
I always question the value of military aid, though the assurance that this aid is given to strengthen other nations against possible Communist attack has an attractive sound for our Congress.
In reality I greatly doubt whether any nation receiving aid of a military kind could stand up long against a Communist attack, but I realize the advantage of having much of this money spent in this country, since it will relieve us of arms that have already, for us, become obsolete.
The Congress of Racial Equality, on which serve such people as Roger N. Baldwin, Algernon B. Black, Grenville Clark, Martin Luther King and many others, is backing the non-violent movement of students in the South against segregated lunch counters. In Raleigh, N.C., this spread to a variety of stores a few days ago.
The example of these Carolina students will probably be followed by students in other places. Students simply file in and out and stand or sit quietly at the counters. They are not being served and the action is merely a protest against segregation in eating places against which there is no law, though, of course, the owner of the store has the right to refuse to sell to customers if he wishes to do so.
Of course, if stores close, it means loss of money to the owners, and the hope is that in time people will realize that it does no real harm to serve all nationalities without regard to race or color.
Lunch counters should not be so difficult to integrate, since in most places people have grown accustomed to sitting next to people of almost every color. This also holds good for public transportation vehicles in a good many parts of the country now as well.
(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)
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About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, February 18, 1960
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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