My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK —As I listened to Governor Stevenson and Senator John F. Kennedy on TV Friday night, I thought Mr. Stevenson did a splendid job of introducing the Presidential nominee, and that Senator Kennedy's speech was remarkably forceful and forthright. I particularly liked the way in which he told the people that he was going to have to ask a great deal of us. Anyone who reads the papers these days must be aware of this fact.

This Administration, which was to bring us peace, has not been guilty of appeasement, but I think it has dealt superficially with questions, without going to the bottom of anything and really looking for the causes which have to be eliminated. If it could find some solution which would tide us over the difficulties of the moment, the difficulties of the future were brushed under the rug. Now the difficulties of the future are crawling out from under the rug in every part of the world.

Senator Hugh Scott, in a speech to a Republican fund-raising dinner, said that our Democratic nominee had not shown a complete grasp of the difficulties in the Taiwan Straits. I would really like to ask the Senator whether he thinks the Republican Administration has shown a complete grasp not only of the Taiwan Straits problem, but of the whole situation in the Far East.

In Japan , for instance, Premier Kishi and his cabinet are stepping aside, but the next government will still be faced with the same unpopular treaty signed with us. And have we come to any real understanding on this subject? No! Apparently, we merely hope that the Japanese people will forget about the treaty and the incoming government will let it stand.

It is just possible that people are getting fed up with being expected to forget, and that they want real solutions in preferance to sliding over whatever the difficulty may be.

When Mr. Khrushchev, in his usual arrogant way, warned the West to keep hands off the Congo, I wondered why he did not at the same time state that his government would back the restoration of order by United Nations troops. This would have been one way of assuring the world that the disorders were not brought about by Soviet activities.

On the one hand, the Soviet government says it desires continued cultural exchanges with the U.S. and encourages U.S. tourists to visit Russia, and on the other hand it does all it can to make the atmosphere more tense. For instance, it rejects our denial that the RB 47 crossed the Soviet border, and it continues to attach an entirely new importance to spying—which has been going on for a long time, on both sides.

The Russians know, and we know, that both of us are trying to keep informed about changing situations—such as build-ups of troops or weapons which might mean surprise attack—but instead of bending their efforts to securing agreements within the U.N. which would make espionage unnecessary, they keep increasing the very tensions that make spying essential.

I get impatient with our own policy-makers for not moving towards some fundamental changes which would lessen the tensions, but I cannot see that the Soviets are doing any better than we are, in this particular situation.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1960, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, July 18, 1960

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.