My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

CAMPOBELLO ISLAND, N. B., Sunday—I have come to the conclusion that the Soviets have decided that if things can be made disagreeable enough for the United States in Europe, and if complications in the Security Council can be made to seem insoluble, then perhaps they can succeed in creating a home situation in this country which will force our government to abandon all interest in Europe. Once this has been accomplished, it is easy to see that they feel sure they can, in one way or another, control the whole of Europe.

The only obstacle to that desired objective which they can see today is the interest of the United States. They count on the people of this country finally saying: "The situation over there is a headache. Let them get out of it as best they can. If they can trade with us, well and good. If not, we'll try to find other markets."

I do not think our people are going to behave that way. But it is easy to understand why the Soviets might believe that, if they delayed long enough and were irritating enough, they could force our people back into an isolationist attitude. They might reason that because of our desire for peace—and because of the fact that the financial burden entailed in helping Europe back onto its feet is a heavy one to carry unless we see results rather quickly—we will get tired of it all.

Because of things which have been said in our papers and in our Congress, the Soviets undoubtedly believe that the Marshall plan will never get from our people the support which would be required to make it work. In addition, they feel that our policy of helping only such countries as are not avowedly under Communist influence has divided Europe already.

I believe, of course, that our help should be purely on a basis of need. Nevertheless, at the present time, I can see what has brought about our attitude, and I think only the USSR can remedy it. If anything, she needs us more than we need her, though I think we both need each other in many ways; and I wish we could sit down around the table and argue out our differences frankly instead of continuing to provoke each other by increasingly hostile actions.

* * *

Reading in the New York papers of the recent heat wave, I realize how grateful we should be for the cool of this island. We have had considerable fog, but even on the gray days there is something exhilarating about the climate. The last two days have been bright and sunny, and on Friday we picnicked on the other side of the island, where we could see clear out to sea without a sign of fog. We miss one thing this summer, however. So far the sun seems to have made up its mind to go down every night in one solid red ball. The sunsets are simply a broad path of red light across the water, and we have not had a single one of those gorgeous, multicolored skies such as I count on having when the evenings are clear.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL