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

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NEW YORK—It is unfortunate to find the dissension in the House that led to the defeat of such an important measure as the farm bill, and at the same time to have the Senate and House committees conduct such an unseemly wrangle over the appropriations bills. Delay in passing the latter means a possible shortage in operating funds for the departments. Holding up the supplemental appropriations needed to tide many agencies over until the beginning of the new fiscal year on July 1 makes things particularly difficult for the Executive departments.

In this matter it seems that two oldsters—Rep. Clarence Cannon of Missouri and Sen. Carl Hayden of Arizona—are following the pattern usually attributed to age. This is not particularly surprising in view of the fact that one is 83 and the other 84! One would think that the difficulties—being purely matters of prestige, let us say—might be adjusted, but perhaps it is too much to expect that any of us will stay flexible as we grow older.

This is why retiring ages in many cases are set in the sixties, where the need of flexibility is very evident. Perhaps it should be extended to other areas. I have always felt that retirement should be a matter of decision made on each case, because we often lose the best of people at the height of their powers when we arbitrarily make them retire at 62 or 65. Yet when we watch political leaders in the Senate stop machinery from functioning in matters vital to the government of the country, we begin to wonder if arbitrary rules are perhaps the only way to avoid such situations.

One may regret losing the experience and know-how which are more readily found in men and women of 60 or more. But perhaps these gentlemen do not realize that they are watched by the country and that the people do sometimes resent what looks like a hold-up—not with guns but with obstinacy. In the end, obviously, some arrangements will have to be reached, and the prestige of the gentlemen in question will certainly not be higher as a result.

The annual survey made by the Institute of International Education shows that in the past year nearly 100,000 students, scholars, professors, researchers and physicians, through their various activities, have made an important contribution to international goodwill and friendship.

This is the highest number of exchanges reported in the last 13 years. One of its significant aspects is the fact that while hostilities and threats exist among nations, the people of these same nations still seek knowledge in whatever country they feel it can be best obtained. One hundred and forty-nine countries had 72,113 foreign persons studying in the United States. They were either teaching or in training. At the same time, 22,263 United States citizens, similarly occupied, were abroad in the past year in 90 different countries.

The Institute of International Education surveys are helpful not only to the United States but to other governments planning educational exchange projects. "All of us in the exchange field," reports President Kenneth Holland of the institute, "are concerned with building better programs for the increasing flow of students to the U. S. from developing nations of Africa, Asia and Latin America." The statistics compiled in their "open-doors" survey are for the use of those who are planning these programs in other countries as well as here, and it is gratifying to note that every major geographical and political area of the world showed an increase in the number of its students and scholars here.

We hope this means that these students will have had an opportunity to know the people of our country well and to return prepared to interpret better than ever before the real feelings they have found in the United States.

E. R.

(Copyright, 1962, 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, June 25, 1962

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.