My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW DELHI—Saturday morning, the 27th, our Consul General said he would come for us at 11 o'clock to take us to the plane and before that I had the N.Y. Times correspondent, Mr. Liberman, and his wife in for breakfast. He has been travelling in Indo-China recently and has been out here long enough to have a real perspective on the whole situation.

When I told him that, having talked with a number of Chinese intellectual refugees and a number of British people who certainly had long experience in China, besides a few of our own people, I had heard many different points of view expressed so there were very few forecasts one could make for the future. He looked relieved and said he thought most Americans were too prone to make up their minds on situations in the Orient which could not be settled quickly and that time moved at a different pace in this part of the world and we had much to learn about patience and not expecting results too quickly.

I came out from breakfast and found two gentlemen who had come up from Taipei waiting to see me. Mr. Fitch is representing the U.S. Committee to help Chinese refugees. In the U.S. this Committee is headed by Carl Compton. Besides the good relief work they are doing, they are trying to do some work now on anti-communist literature to counteract the flood of Communist literature which pervades this area. The Communists get out cheap little books with pictures in which everything the U.S. or the U.N. does is pictured as bringing death and destruction. They are sold very cheaply and we have absolutely nothing to counteract them and it seemed that this particular effort on the part of the Committee might prove very helpful. Some of the Chinese intellectuals are trying to do something themselves. Dr. Wan said he was cooperating with a small publishing firm to get out anti-Communist literature. But I am appalled at the way the Communists are reaching the poorest people with their cheap propaganda.

The USIS for which Congress has just cut the appropriation, is the only government answer that we have anywhere in Asia to counteract the written Communist propaganda. The Centers all seem to me to be doing good work but they are undermanned, cannot do enough translations and are being curtailed in every way.

The private work done by the Committee for the aid of Chinese intellectuals has accomplished much but it cannot hope to really meet the Communist inspired and subsidized propaganda.

We left almost on time and had a smooth flight to Bangkok. There, Mrs. Allen, the wife of our new ambassador to India, and her boys got on the plane and I had a talk with her about Yugoslavia where I am heading, since they have just left there.

In Rangoon Mrs. Fayweather's daughter and her husband, Mr. and Mrs. Alyward, came to the airport together with our Ambassador to meet us all and I was glad to see them.

We had a little "turbulence," as the pilot called it, on our trip but all went well until we reached New Delhi. There they had had a duststorm and for a little while it looked as though we might go straight on to Karachi but I was glad for Mrs. Allen's sake that we were able to land.

Mrs. Pandit came to meet me and I was distressed to have anyone at the airport so late at night, particularly as she had been there several times during the day to meet the Prime Minister on his return and to see someone else off. It was a great pleasure to see her, however, and I enjoyed my few minutes chat with her. I was glad also to have a glimpse of our Ambassador Mr. Allen, who is just settling into his post here.

Just as we thought we were leaving, they discovered some mechanical difficulty with the plane. Fortunately, I was able to persuade Mrs. Pandit to go home for we waited another hour before they decided to stop over 12 hours and so we had to go to a hotel for what remained of the night.

Now we are hoping to get off at two o'clock and though I will probably have no time in Istanbul, I still hope to make my connections for Athens.

Pan American was most kind to us and I must say I would always rather be over careful than to on if there is any question of anything going wrong.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL