My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—I got up early yesterday and took the 6:57 a.m. train down from the country, having heard that our guests of the day before had to wait a couple of hours in the railroad station and reached New York City three hours later! I quite understand it is difficult for the personnel to get advance knowledge of trains that are coming through when the weather is bad, but when they give you the time for a train that is going in the opposite direction to that which you are hoping to travel, it does seem they must be laboring under considerable tension and confusion.

The 6:57, however, originating in Poughkeepsie, got us in only about 20 minutes late and we had a very successful day in New York City. The grandchildren got their Christmas gifts and clothes exchanged and refitted in preparation for going home to Texas today.

In the evening Elliott and I took six young people to see "Guys And Dolls," which is certainly an entertaining and delightful musical play. The book by Joe Swerling and Abe Burrows is replete with good lines and Frank Loesser's music is catchy. Our young ones found the entire evening a delight. For pure entertainment it will certainly meet the standards of Broadway and I am sure it will have a very successful run.

There is a little item in the paper this morning that struck me as very interesting. It was a brief statement of the reasons why it would be advantageous to both the United States and China if we could remain friends. It stated their need for our technicians to help with their development and enumerated the production of certain types of machinery that could be obtained more easily from us than from the Soviet Union. The argument is based, of course, on the supposition that the new Communist Chinese leader, Mao Tse-tung, really means to deliver to the Chinese people certain things that will improve their way of life. We are taking for granted that that is the only way he will be able to hold the loyalty of the people and prevent a counterrevolution, which is constantly threatened by Chiang Kai-shek and other more conservative forces in China.

The question, of course, must be raised as to how much Russia will supply that will meet in part or in whole the needs of the Chinese people. She is not yet fully meeting her own needs, nor, so far as one can discover, are her own satellites in Europe able to ship to her in sufficient quantities such things as she cannot produce or cannot as yet produce in great enough quantities.

There is an enormous job of organization still to be done in the Soviet Union. Transportation alone would be a development requiring many years, and without it there is no chance of reaching the remote parts of her own country. This is true to a far greater extent in China, and one wonders how long and how much can be put into purely military operations by the Chinese leader who must also promise his people many reforms.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL