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

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NEW YORK.—One hopes that there will be a summit meeting in November or December and that there also can be a pre-summit meeting at which time the Western powers will be able to agree on what their main objectives are in the realm of foreign affairs.

It is very important that the West have a clear picture of what it really wishes to achieve. Western leaders know quite well that before they can envision a really peaceful world in which total disarmament is possible that problems in the Near East, in the Far East and in Europe all must be solved. It is essential, therefore, for the West to have a clearer picture of what has to be done. You can be sure the Soviet Union will have its objectives clearly in mind when and if a summit meeting takes place.

It is necessary, also, that Western leaders look as far into the future as possible. Planning in the Soviet Union is not a day-to-day matter; it is a matter of trying to gauge what will happen 10 or 15 or 20 years ahead as a result of present-day policies.

It is, of course, obvious that only a few steps can be taken at a time, but we must never lose sight of our objectives. And unless we begin to realize that the big questions have to be settled before our ultimate objective of disarmament can be reached, I am afraid hopes will be aroused by each meeting that cannot be fulfilled.

I have been seeing a number of people in the past few days, all of whom are thinking primarily about politics at home and are committed to their chosen nominee in the Democratic campaign. They all argue equally seriously for their particular candidate!

In Texas, of course, one cannot escape becoming aware of that state's favorite son. And former President Truman hinted rather broadly down there that while Missouri will have a favorite son in Senator Stuart Symington if the Senator cannot be put across, then Texas might be the recipient of Missouri's influence and vote.

Not having any votes that I can count on or any desire to find myself really involved in a pre-convention struggle, I listen to everybody's arguments. And I would really enjoy my position more if it were not for a little nagging feeling that perhaps, at some point along the way, I, like everyone else, have an obligation to decide which of the candidates has the qualities necessary to meet the problems of the present day. I shall resist this little nagging thought as long as I possibly can.

Nothing seems to be done without controversy these days, and in my own city of New York a bitter fight is going on over the question of the floating of school bonds for the construction of new schools, to be paid for by these bonds outside the debt limit of the city.

As usual, the official wording of the amendment to be voted on is somewhat difficult to understand, but as I read it it means that this will permit enough schools to be built actually to accommodate the children of New York.

Now, of course, I feel it is essential that our children have the necessary number of seats in schools. But this is only half the battle. They also must have good teachers, adequately paid.

On the whole, I think we need these buildings and probably cannot get them unless this amendment is voted on favorably because there would be no assurance of continuity in appropriation. So, though I hate to see New York City go further into debt, I think New Yorkers have got to face this situation.


(Copyright, 1959, 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, October 23, 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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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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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.