My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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LOS ANGELES, Tuesday—In trying to sort out my impressions of the recent few days in Chile and Peru, I think perhaps the thing that struck me most was the lack of a really strong middle class. There are very rich people and some very poor people but very few fairly well-to-do people in between. The poor are extremely poor; their living conditions are comparable only to those of the refugees in India and Pakistan, or to those I saw in the slum areas in Puerto Rico.

The social security system in both Chile and Peru seems very advanced, but I did not get the impression that the womenfolk were very enthusiastic to work in one way or another in civic and charitable institutions.

I will never forget the beauty of the mountains and the flowers nor the kind cordiality of all the people. I am glad I can look back upon so many of their undertakings as being at least a part shared by their own government and the Point 4 program of the United States.

That mountain of mail I thought would be waiting me was certainly on hand when I got home last week. I was informed, however, that Committee 3 of the General Assembly was still discussing freedom of information and that my services would not be required for several days.

I went down to the U.S. Mission Office for an hour on Friday morning, and we all realized that it is going to be difficult to take a stand on any kind of U.S. policy during the rest of this session of the General Assembly. We shall have to await orders from the new administration.

We left on a noon plane for Phoenix, Arizona, and on Saturday morning I spoke there to the Arizona Education Association. After I had a short lunch with members of the press, I dashed off to make a plane for Los Angeles.

Now that I have had time to think over the results of last Tuesday's vote, I am extremely glad that both the House and the Senate will have a majority of Republicans. This gives the incoming administration sole responsibility for cooperation with the legislative branch of our government and the people will have what they apparently wanted, and what they voted for—a complete change of faces in Washington.

I imagine everyone is anxiously awaiting President-elect Eisenhower's visit to Korea. Rightly or wrongly, many people seem to think he has promised them to bring the war to a close and to bring their boys home. I think he has quite a heavy assignment before him, even before he takes his oath of office on January 20.

It is always easier for the party out of power to sit back and criticize, and I can only hope that the Democratic party will be "His Majesty's loyal opposition." Through constructive criticism the Democrats can bring about more positive policies in foreign and domestic affairs.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL