My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK, Friday—The French Premier, Mr. Pierre Mendes-France, has arrived in this country for a brief official visit. I think all of us should welcome him because his acts, so far, have been both courageous and imaginative in the area of domestic and international politics. I like very much the stress he laid on unity among the Western powers. I hope he will find the support that he looks for from our government, and continues to have support at home, since he does seem to be serving his country in very practical ways at the present time.

Congress seems bound to do away with the Foreign Operations Administration next June and yet the agency, at the request of the National Security Council, is preparing a worldwide program for 1955 and '56. This program apparently would recognize that the area of the world which has the greatest need is Asia, and would spend 70 to 80 percent of the money for foreign aid in that area of the world. Economic programs seem to me, at the present time, to have far greater value both in the Asian areas of the world and in the relations between us and our Central and South American neighbors.

In my view, there should be some reduction in military aid and transference of that aid to economic assistance, but, for security reasons, it is more difficult to get the Congress to vote economic aid than military aid. It is understandable, of course, that we want to strengthen any country that seems to be in danger from Communist attack, but I believe that in some areas of the world the danger of Communist attack is not so much a military danger as an economic danger.

* * *

All Senator McCarthy's friends seem to be trying to soften the action against him and the poor man injured his elbow in a handshake and has had to go to the hospital. There is a hint, in various stories I have seen, of dragging in the religious consideration in this affair. It does not seem to me to have anything to do with anyone's religion.

In this country we have a right to belong to any religion we desire without question. We should not be penalized because we belong to any faith. Neither should we have any favors because we belong to any faith.

The question of Senator McCarthy's censure is a case where religion should be strictly left out and the judicial and ethical aspects of the matter should govern the action of Congress. Certain accusations have been brought, a committee has investigated them and the Senate is now asked to act. This seems to me to be a case where religion should be left out and the purely factual and judicial aspects carefully considered by a calm body of men.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL