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

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HYDE PARK—The photograph in the New York Times and the Herald Tribune Saturday of a group of very jovial gentlemen—Defense Secretary Charles F. Wilson, and Secretaries Donald A. Quarles, of the Air Force, Wilbur M. Brucker, of the Army, and Charles S. Thomas, of the Navy—would not lead one to believe that any of these gentlemen were upset over the attacks which lately have been leveled against their policies.

Of course, Defense Secretary Wilson might be justified in wanting to reduce military manpower and to economize on the continually rising costs of defense if our foreign policy had been so successful that we had increased our friends in the world to a notable extent in the past few years.

Unfortunately, this is not the case. And one hopes that when the Joint Cheifs of Staff take a "complete, unprejudiced" look at the whole defense establishment, they will have in mind the real world situation and not Secretary of State John Foster Dulles' optimistic promises.

We need defense at home, certainly in the area of a stronger Air Force. Whether we actually need more soldiers and more Navy, I do not know, but more modern equipment of every kind and more trained personnel in the Air Force unquestionably is a need which should never be overlooked.

It is interesting to have the officials of such a state as New York, asking the national government to take greater responsibility in leadership toward organizing civil defense and planning the programs to be followed. Governor Averell Harriman said that since the Federal government had not developed a realistic plan, there was no way that states could induce individual people to take more interest in civil defense work.

Mayor Robert F. Wagner's assistant, Stanley H. Lowell, said that no state or municipality has the financial ability to set up bomb shelters, evacuation centers of radiation shelters, if a study determined that any of these were necessary. Governor Harriman urged that the National Civil Defense Administrator be given Cabinet rank and that this become as much a part of defense as the military organizations.

Italy has sent its permanent representative to the United Nations and Leonardo Vittetti presented his credentials to the Secretary General last Saturday. This is a milestone and many will welcome the entrance of the Italians as members of the U.N.

A group of your people representing a class from City College of New York picnicked on my grounds Saturday and then went over to the Memorial Library. From now on, I think I will have at least one group a week, and I am always glad to welcome these young people.

There was a letter in the New York Times Saturday about the difficulties of getting a passport at the New York office.

When one reads of so many demands being made, not at the same time, one wonders why people should be inconvenienced so much. Couldn't standard requirements be made out and handed the people or mailed to them so that one visit would be sufficient? This would lighten the work of the workers as well as that of the passport applicants.


(Copyright, 1956, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.)

Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, June 26, 1956

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.