My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Tuesday—It is very gratifying that the President has appointed a committee to watch over civil liberties in the field of employment. There should, of course, never be any question about the availability for any job of a qualified person regardless of race or creed. But there have been instances in which people have been barred from jobs and sometimes from educational opportunities because of race or creed.

Therefore, it is very significant that this committee has as its chairman the Vice-President of the U.S. In making the announcement to the press of the appointments to the committee it was stressed that the Vice-President's chairmanship denoted the importance attached to the work of this committee by the President and the Administration. It must be a gratifying thing to each and everyone of us as American citizens to know that this situation is being so carefully watched.

In view of this fine stand taken nationally it is difficult to understand why in the international field there was not more careful consideration given to the appointment of Gov. James F. Byrnes of South Carolina, because of his pronouncements on racial questions, to serve as a member of our delegation to the eighth General Assembly of the U.N. in September. This appointment can hardly give confidence to the many representatives of colored races who are sensitive on the subject of possible discrimination in any case.

The report made by the President on the achievements of the nation's foreign aid program during the past six months recognizes two important things. One is that our objectives of mutual defense and economic recovery cannot be obtained without the assistance of the other free nations. The second is that our program of defense and economic aid can often supplement the programs of the U.N. by providing the necessary wherewithal to carry out recommendations made through the technical assistance experts supplied by the U.N. The President also emphasizes that though the danger of Soviet aggression is still constantly present, the planning done for recovery in the economic field and for mutual defense must now take a long-range view.

There is no question in my mind that many nations would prefer economic aid to come exclusively through U.N. channels, but it is an understandable feeling on the part of the U.S. lawmakers that since so much public and private capital must flow to other nations they prefer to have a watchful eye over the conditions under which it is granted for specific projects and how these projects are actually carried out.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL