My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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En Route to PARIS—I was very glad to read in the newspapers that we had not merely paid the ransom for our fliers who had been imprisoned in Hungary, but had taken certain retaliatory steps against the Soviet satellite country as well. Had we not done this it would have been possible for some people to say we were trying to cover up some possible guilt on the part of the airmen and were willing to pay to get them out of Hungary because they had been spying.

I hope it can be made unprofitable for any nation to kidnap Americans or to ignore the fact that we are not at war and that, therefore, the ordinary international courtesies should be observed. That is the only way we will prevent such happenings as these from being repeated. Most of the satellite countries are in need of money and if they can kidnap American citizens and hold them for a short time and get big ransoms, and nothing disagreeable happens, we will surely find a more frequent number of kidnappings than we have had in the past.

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I spent last Friday in Washington at the State Department and also had the opportunity of a short visit with President Truman in which I reported to him the work of the General Assembly so far.

The President is most anxious to see the disarmament conference really get to work. He realizes that any actual agreements must come very slowly between the Soviet Union and ourselves, but he feels that it is a step forward to have achieved acquiescence in a conference and to have Russia ready to sit down at that conference.

I was glad to find that he was interested in the possibility of economic development in Latin America, because I am more than anxious that the world should realize that all of us in the United States are thinking of what are the good things that may come to people once the threat of war is removed. The fact that the President is already discussing big projects that may be accomplished in Latin America shows that he is not concentrating only on defense preparations for Europe but is thinking far into the future on the defenses that must be built against poverty and disease throughout the world.

The Secretary of State was looking well and anxious to know about the various members of the delegation. I told him how sorry we were to say goodbye to the two Congressmen, Rep. Mike Mansfield of Montana and Rep. John M. Vorys of Ohio. They had so willingly accepted difficult assignments and done such good work that everyone of us regretted the fact that they could not return in view of the meeting of the next Congress.

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I got back from Washington very promptly, but getting from Newark Airport into my hotel on 56th Street in New York took me one hour and 25 minutes. This was disturbing because Mr. Cass Canfield of Harper Brothers was waiting to talk to me. Traffic was heavy, but I think I probably came a slow way and will know better another time.

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Prime Minister Winston Churchill now is en route to the United States, and all of us will be hoping that he will have a smoother crossing than ships have been having in the last few days.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL