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"A Point in President's Subversive Order Should be Clarified"

My Day  (March 25, 1947)


Click on image above to view FBI file of this column

NEW YORK, Monday -- I read with interest the President's order on disloyal employees in the Government. As you read the categories of persons to be considered disloyal, none of them are people one would want to employ in any government capacity.

However, I think one paragraph towards the end requires clarification. This is the paragraph which states that proof that a person belongs to or has contributed to certain organizations, designated by the Department of Justice as undesirable, is a cause for dismissal or for refusal of employment in the Government. It seems to me that this calls for proper implementation by issuance of a list of such organizations, and this list should be kept up to date.

All citizens should be able to inquire of the Government as to any organization which they are asked to join, and they should get a prompt answer. Otherwise, many unsuspecting people may find themselves belonging to disloyal organizations or contributing money to them, and even if they are not seeking work with the Government, their membership might prove to be an embarrassment.

I remember once getting a list on which I found my mother-in-law and former Secretary of War Henry L. Stimson listed as donors of money to a number of subversive organizations. I do not think you could find two people less subversive than Mr. Stimson is or than my mother‑in‑law was!

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I notice in the paper this morning that we in New York City are going to be admonished to pay attention to the traffic lights. We are way behind many of the other cities in the country. I can remember my daughter, when she lived in Seattle, firmly taking my arm and saying: "If you cross against that light, you will be arrested. They are very particular in this city." To New Yorkers, who seem to enjoy dodging traffic, strict enforcement of traffic rules ma y come as a surprise at first, but I think it probably will be a great help to drivers and to pedestrians when once we learn to obey the rules.

It is really appalling to read that, in various kinds of accidents throughout the country last year, 100,000 lives were lost and 10,400,000 persons were injured. It is a good thing that, here in this city, a Safety Convention and Exposition is being held, and that the attention of the nation will be fixed on this problem.

Accidents are increasing in every city as traffic increases. More and more automobiles are now available. If you have been waiting for a car and have not been able to get one, you will probably think that statement is not true, but if you have been in a crowded city at the time of day when traffic is heavy, you will think that new cars are reaching the public quite rapidly. But our planning for increased traffic is not keeping up with the volume of cars.

In New York and in many other cities, parking is being prohibited on many streets, but that doesn't remove traffic—it simply shifts it. New and imaginative plans will have to be evolved for parking cars within cities and for routing traffic—and this must be done soon