My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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HYDE PARK, Sunday—It has been a rather shocking thing to see that we are again subjected, because we do not think ahead, to the same difficulties that were experienced in World War II by the families of servicemen who tried to be with their husbands as long as they were still in this country. I saw so many young women during that period traveling to camps in various parts of the country without any knowledge of where their husbands would find a place for them to live. They wanted a home, somewhere to be together until they were separated by an overseas assignment.

Now we are seeing the same thing all over again. But we are not faced with the same conditions as those of World War II. Our states have had time to pass laws preventing the raising of rents above the usual levels merely because there is an influx of young people who do not want to leave their husbands. It is also possible for the Federal government to make some provision for this situation, which is a natural one. When the government is not engaged in all-out war, it should be feasible for it to think of improving morale by a little human consideration. We hope that the men in the camps will never actually go to war: but they have to be prepared—and well prepared—and they will do better work if they are not cut off from their families. It may mean extra expense for the armed services, but in the long run the money will be well spent.

Someone who had been talking to Congressmen and Senators in Washington told me today that it was shocking to find that one of the first things some of our legislators wanted to do was to economize by cutting down on the Point Four program and all foreign aid. These gentlemen can understand the value of military force and so they are willing to provide guns; but they say that if we continue to provide technical assistance and aid on the civilian side to people in many parts of the world we will lower our own standard of living and never get anything in return.

It does not seem to penetrate that every area in the world where there is misery and hopelessness is an area which is ripe for Communism. If we do not—through foreign aid and our Point Four program, working in conjunction with the United Nations programs—give hope and tangible assistance to the underdeveloped countries of the world, then they will turn to Communism as the only other answer offered them. If these countries fall under the Communist spell, we will without any question find ourselves losing our standard of living; we will find ourselves in a more restricted world with less and less opportunity to sell our goods and more and more suspicion directed against us.

I came across some lines of poetry that I believe have something in them worth remembering in these days when we carry such heavy responsibility. They read:

"Beyond a shadow lies the clear and real,
Beneath expression is the truth we feel.
The spark of kindness may forever glow
If we'll respect God's creatures, here below."

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL