My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Monday—It is a great relief to know that Mrs. Anna Rosenberg at last can begin to handle her difficult job in straightening out the manpower problems confronting the nation at the present time. She is well qualified for this job by experience and character. She has been unable to begin to organize her work all because certain crackpots, among them several ex-Communists, made up a tale that she had been a member of a Communist-front organization.

Anyone in public knows it is possible, if you go about it cleverly, to get almost anyone to join an organization, and until they actually work in it they are not apt to discover that the organization is anything other than it was represented to be. Many people are asked to give their names for purposes that sound excellent. Frequently those solicited are unable to attend meetings and have said they would not be able to do so. Then months later they discover that the people, whom they were told were members of the organization and hoped they would join, were made to join in their turn by being told that their friend, Mr. So-and-so, was a member and hoped they would join. Busy people do not have time enough to check until they have been fooled a number of times. Then they are careful forever afterward.

I am sure Mrs. Rosenberg is far more careful than I am even now. I was sure from the beginning that everything would turn out just as it has, but I boiled inwardly that a good public servant had to go through such an ordeal. Even had she been a member for a short time, she should have been allowed to say so, to explain her reasons and the circumstances. She could easily vindicate herself because her record is too outstanding for anyone seriously to suspect her of disloyalty.

Putting people through this type of ordeal is what keeps good people from government service. I have heard people say lately that they hoped they would never have to be in government service. This kind of experience is what will keep young people, the more brilliant ones, from wanting to serve the country whose representatives are going to take it for granted that they are guilty of disloyalty on evidence given by self-confessed ex-Communists who decide they would like to implicate a few other people along with themselves.

Mrs. Rosenberg thanked the members of the investigating committee for having been so diligent and impartial. I am sure the gentlemen were, and I am sure that among them there were men who disliked having to question her integrity and loyalty. But we know there are others who think this kind of inquiry is beneficial to the country.

I can only say that I am thankful Mrs. Rosenberg can go to work on one of the problems that affects the lives of many of us, but I feel ashamed that the world should have watched such an episode. How the Kremlin must have chuckled!

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL