My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas—Last Sunday night Mr. Clark Eichelberger and I were guests of the Dallas Press Club at a large and prearranged press conference, with radio and TV people also there. It seems to be the custom here for the press to get together and have their questions asked by one or two people. And those two people did a very good job Sunday night. We covered many questions about the United Nations. Afterward we all sat around and had coffee and talked, and I enjoyed it very much.

On Monday morning at 9:30 I was at a radio station for a panel interview, which was recorded for use in the evening. Another member of the panel was a charming Chinese girl named Miss Liang Yen, who has just written about her experiences in China. She is now an American citizen and lives here. The third member was an English ex-foreign service officer, who had been the consul here in Dallas. When his appointment came to an end he returned to England but soon resigned from the foreign service and returned to Dallas to go into the importing business. The moderator was an American economist.

The main question was: "Continents look at the United Nations—Europe, Asia and North America?" I think it made an interesting program.

I am writing this during the brief interlude between the morning radio recording and the noonday lunch given by the Dallas United Nations Council. Neither the Houston nor Dallas councils, although they are working for the promotion of the United Nations, are directly affiliated with the American Association for the United Nations. We hope that someday they will find that affiliation will bring them some of the things which they need. In the meantime we are very happy to work with all groups who have as their objective knowledge and support of the U.N.

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On January 10 the Community Service Society in New York City announced that the Rockefeller Brothers Fund would aid them with a $225,000 grant. Under this grant the society will make a three-year study into the question of what constitutes a "good old age."

Stanley P. Davies, who is the general director of this 100-year-old society, said that this would be "the most-thorough study of its kind yet undertaken of problems connected with growing old."

Community Service will try to find the answers to such questions as "When does old age begin? and "What is the secret of growing old successfully?" as well as innumerable other questions that come under this heading. I hope that this and many other studies that are going on may lead to a revision of our whole old-age and retirement system.

I feel it is wrong, and very wasteful besides, to set, arbitrarily, an age when people must retire. True, some people feel that with the increasing old-age population it is necessary to retire people to give younger people a chance, but I doubt if this can be proved essential. Some people should be retired before they are 60 years old, others are just about ready to make their most valuable contributions at 65.

Perhaps one should say that at a certain age everyone has earned a given pension—but that should not be tied to retirement. That should be the result of individual study of each case. It has always seemed wrong to me that in order to receive a pension people should give up property that they possess or be asked to prove that they have never been able to save anything during their working life.

I am sure that the Community Service Society is an excellent vehicle to make this study, since it is the largest private nonsectarian family and health agency in the United States and one of the oldest.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL