My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Thursday—I read with interest last night that Richard H. Balch of Utica, a fishing tackle manufacturer and 1950 candidate for Lieutenant Governor, had been elected chairman of the Democratic State Committee of New York. I also read the appeal made by James A. Farley for his candidate, William H. Morgan of Cortland.

I can recall meeting both of these gentlemen, but I don't know either of them well, so I have no personal feeling about the election. I should think, however, that, between the two, it would be more important to have a state chairman from the city of Utica. In that part of the state there are a number of good-sized cities, where, with hard work, the Democratic party could build a stronger organization than they have had in the past.

In his speech Mr. Farley pleaded with his colleagues to build a strong organization north of the Bronx to keep down the Republican majority and to urge more Democrats to the polls. That is excellent advice, and it should be followed. I know, for instance, that in Dutchess County, particularly around Poughkeepsie, so many new people have moved in that really good leadership ought to be able to organize a strong, Democratic opposition to the traditional Republican Dutchess County vote. And if this is true in Dutchess County it must be true also in many other counties.

Farmers are said to be traditionally Republican, but I question whether nowadays there is so much tradition about people's votes. If they know the facts, they are doing more deciding on their own. I think one of the things the Democrats need very much indeed is to have the public better informed on what the party really stands for, what it has accomplished and it still wants to accomplish.

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In Committee 3 of the General Assembly we have been listening during the past few days to a great many Soviet attacks on the U.S. Yesterday there were a number of speeches and I expect there will be one or two today on the old, old question of the repatriation of all refugees.

As usual, the Reds say there need be no refugees if we just sent everybody home. Then when we inquire about what to do with people who don't want to go home, either because their feelings about the present government have changed or because their government has changed since they left their country, the answer is always the same: "Anyone who does not want to go back to his country of origin is a Quisling or a traitor and should therefore be returned for execution."

We have decided every year in the U.N. by a large majority vote that people cannot be forced to return to their homelands but the Soviets go on telling us they should.

This, of course, comes up in connection with the report made by the High Commissioner for Refugees and his appeal for help to care for the remaining group of refugees which the IRO was not able to settle before they closed their operations. The Soviets, of course, are primarily interested in those who are in Germany. But in spite of their usual arguments I think the majority opinion will not uphold their main contention. There is still in the world a perference for freedom of choice.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL