My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK—It is unfortunate that the President had to be ordered away just as Congress is about to open and his various messages will be going to Congress. But perhaps it is not so unfortunate because it is certainly the time when the greatest pressures will come upon the President for private interviews on various topics. So, if his messages have all been written in the past weeks of quiet there is no real reason he should not allow Congress to go on its way peacefully and attend to its business without his presence.

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Everyone, I think, must be shocked by the tremendous death rate in accidents during the Christmas weekend.

Automobiles keep being made bigger and more powerful and that is a temptation to faster and faster driving. If only everybody could be relied upon to have good judgment, then perhaps speed would not be such an important factor. But the truth of the matter is that judgment is a very rare commodity and that many of the accidents that occur actually could be avoided if good judgment had been used by everyone concerned.

You do not pass another car on a two-lane highway nearing the top of a hill. You do not dodge in and out in traffic. The amount of time gained is not worth the danger you run. And there are many other rules for safe driving which, if you have judgment, you will observe. Yet, we see them ignored every day on the road.

I really think it is more important to examine candidates for a driving license on their good judgment than it is to find out if they can park in a certain limited space. Something must be done to cut down traffic accidents and if we insist on having bigger and more powerful cars, then we had better also insist on more drivers with good judgment.

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The Soviets made a propaganda bid this week in announcing to the world that they would cut down on military strength by 10 percent in the coming year. They do not say how this is to be done, but without question they will make a good deal out of the fact that we are spending more money than they are on armaments.

I wish with all my heart we did not have to spend this money, and I would love to see ways devised by which we would be sure of what is being done by other countries. That is the one thing I hope may one day come out of the United Nations disarmament conference.

If we could devise a way whereby a U.N. inspection commission could give confidence to all governments that what one was doing really meant cutting down and not just cutting down in one place in order to add in another, then much could be accomplished. The use of the money saved in the struggle the U.N. carries on to increase the well-being of the people in the underdeveloped areas in the world would be a great benefit.

If any device can be found by the U.N. through which confidence can be increased I think all nations, including the Soviet Union, can be induced to reduce arms and to build up what force is needed within the U.N. as they reduce it in individual nations.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL