My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Friday—The best-laid plans of mice and men sometimes go awry and the weather delayed me on Thursday morning for nearly an hour at LaGuardia Airport. I was worried for fear that the Massachusetts State College at Amherst would find all its plans upset. As it developed, they were upset but somehow they managed to adjust. We lunched first on my arrival, and then I spoke to the student body on the United Nations, and after a press conference drove to Deerfield, Massachusetts. I saw Dr. and Mrs. Boyden again and felt the delightful atmosphere of that old and historic village.

While in Amherst I had the pleasure of meeting Congressman John F. Kennedy for a few minutes. He is campaigning vigorously for the Senate seat against the present incumbent, Senator Henry Cabot Lodge.

Mr. Kennedy has been a Congressman for six years and in the State of Massachusetts I think they should know him well enough to realize that he has certain very good qualities that should recommend him for election to serve in the Senate. It is important, I think, that these young, courageous representatives who have had experience in the House, move into the Senate and bring into that body some of the influence of youth.

We must always remember and emphasize the value of experience, which is much needed and which we cannot afford to be without. On the other hand, however, we must not neglect to bring in the young who are not afraid of change, since good changes mean growth and growth is essential to any living organization.

The Democratic party has been alive in the past 20 years because it has been constantly growing. The Democratic nominee for the Presidency, Governor Adlai Stevenson, will need such men as Herbert Lehman, Blair Moody and John F. Kennedy if he is to do the job at home and abroad which, as citizens, we want him to do after his election and inauguration next year.

I see that in answer to the challenges and clamor of the newspapers Governor Stevenson has agreed that he will give an accounting of the funds received and used in his state government.

Personally, I believe the principle of such funds is wrong, but I don't believe that we rectify the fundamental mistake by accusing either Republican or Democratic nominees of dishonesty.

What we need to face is the fact that we do not pay sufficiently large salaries in state and national government positions to attract the kind of men who are needed to do the jobs well. And we do not give them allowances to permit them to do certain kinds of work that they think essential but which is not included in the routine work of the Senate, the House or the Judiciary or wherever they may find themselves placed.

If this whole to-do has the effect of making us think seriously about how campaign funds should be provided for candidates, about how government officials should be paid and what should be expected of them in their positions, we shall profit by this whole business, sordid and unhealthy though it may be for our international prestige.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL