My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Friday—Sometimes, as one reads the constant assertions and accusations made by Russian statesmen, one wonders what it is that frightens them so much. People do not protest so violently unless they are frightened.

In Soviet Foreign Minister V. M. Molotov's speech on the 30th anniversary of the Bolshevik Revolution, he said that capitalism was dying and that all roads led to Communism. How can one make remarks like that unless one has so surrounded oneself with people who feel the need of such remarks that one does not know the truth? Communism is safe, as far as I know, in the area now controlled by the USSR, but to say that capitalism is dying in the rest of the world is to be like the little boy who whistled in the dark to keep up his courage.

One is inclined to think that Mr. Molotov's remark that the secret of the atom bomb "has long ceased to exist" was also made to keep up the courage of the Russian people. It has long been said here that the principles underlying atomic energy are well known. But those who know what is required actually to put together an atomic bomb know quite well that neither Russia nor any other country, except the United States and perhaps Great Britain, is in a position to command the necessary setup to accomplish this work.

* * *

The Russians accuse other nations of inciting to war, but it is they who plant in the minds of people the idea that the actions of other nations must lead to war. I have seen no desire for war on the part of people in this country. I have read a few scattered articles in newspapers and magazines and a few much publicized remarks by totally unimportant people which I consider inflammatory, but this is not the expression of the people of the United States nor of the Government of the United States. It is hard to make the USSR understand this.

Likewise, it is hard to make Russian delegates to the United Nations understand why the United States will not approve of repatriation of displaced persons against their own wishes. The United States is not acting on the assumption that, if these people are not repatriated, she will be able to induce them to come in large numbers to these shores and fill all the jobs which nobody else wants to fill! Over and over again, I have explained in U.N. meetings that our labor laws and our immigration laws make it impossible for more than a limited number of immigrants to come into this country yearly. And therefore, unless the laws are changed, we will be able to accept only a very small number of displaced persons. But I might just as well remain silent, since I make no dent on my opponents.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL