My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LOS ANGELES, Thursday—I had the pleasure on Wednesday morning of visiting one of the most delightful office buildings I have ever seen—the Music Corporation of America offices here. There are delightful hunting prints on the walls, and the walls and the draperies have been brought into harmony with great skill. The extremely nice pieces of old furniture look as though they had found familiar and happy surroundings.

It was kind of Mrs. Jules Stein, who is responsible for all this comfort and beauty in these surroundings, to come down and show me around herself. I was so interested in all the things, which seemed foreign to most office buildings and reminiscent of a really pleasant home, that I stayed longer than I had expected. Because of this, we had to drive down town rather quickly to the Democratic State Committee Headquarters where I met a number of people including my son, James, who went with me from there to a monthly lunch of the A.F. of L. organization in this area.

Last month this group had been addressed by Senator Hubert Humphrey of Minnesota. It is interesting to find that the labor organizations are making such an effort through the leaders of their unions to acquaint their membership with questions which are of interest to all citizens in the United States. There was a time when labor groups were primarily engrossed in their own special interests—wages, hours, and conditions of work. Today they are not only groups of men who guide and serve the interests of labor, but they are groups of citizens living in the greatest democracy of the world. The leaders recognize their responsibility to labor, but at the same time they know they must understand the problems of the industries in which they work.

The economic conditions of the country as a whole and the relationship which this country bears on every level to conditions throughout the world is also of interest to organized labor today. As you talk to these men you realize that the time has come when it is essential for industry and labor to cooperate. There is plenty of intelligence and understanding on the part of the leading labor people so that they can see the problems of the industrialist as well as the problem of labor and reach a balance which will be of advantage to both.

Just as we need peace among nations, we need peace within our nation to bring the greatest advantage to the majority of the people. Just as the questions which have been settled by wars in the past actually had to come to final settlement around a council table, so the difficulties that arise between employer and employee can today be settled without strikes and loss to all concerned. There is sufficient intelligent leadership and willingness on both sides to cooperate in the public interest.

From this luncheon I visited with a group of new Americans. These people came to this country from many countries in Europe. They lived in displaced persons camps and spent time in Shanghai during the Japanese invasion in concentration camps there. Today, however, they are on the way to becoming good American citizens.

My last appointment for the afternoon was a half hour spent with the United Nations Association. They would have liked to have me stay for a longer period of time, but had I done so none of my work would have been done and I could not have met my evening appointment.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL