My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

HYDE PARK—The Philippine ambassador to the United States, Carlos P. Romulo, laid the blame for anti-American riots in the Far East to the fact that the U.S. will not permit its soldiers charged with crime to be tried in local courts.

General Romulo may be right, but it would be extremely difficult for the Army to convince the people of this country that their men in uniform should come under the jurisdiction of any but Army courts when they are on duty in other parts of the world.

(The U.S. has agreements with 48 different countries which permit local courts to try U.S. servicemen accused of violating local laws when off their base and off duty. However, local authorities waive jurisdiction to the military in about 70 percent of the cases. In Asian countries, however, the U.S. retains full jurisdiction over its servicemen.)

Perhaps it is because we are not accustomed enough to having our citizens stationed in other countries that we cannot feel satisfied with the thought of subjecting them to the laws of other nations.

We may be wrong in taking this attitude, but I think the basic fact is that the U.S. does not like to have its Army troops occupying other countries. The American people like to have their men at home.

What with the new position the U.S. has taken upon itself in the world, perhaps we will have to rethink many of our attitudes towards other nations. And I am not sure that we won't decide in favor of putting civilians in jobs often done by the Army in foreign countries. Our show of force then could be maintained at home or on short visits to other parts of the world.

Perhaps our economic advisers and cultural representatives actually are a better occupation army than the military can be.

I finally managed to attend the Chapel Corners Grange meeting to receive, together with Mr. and Mrs. Overdorf, my silver star for having been a Grange member for 25 years. My husband was a member of this Grange long before I joined.

As the pins were given to us, we were told that there must have been something of value for us in holding our membership for so many years. I think this is quite true.

The Grange, an organization for people who live in the rural areas, provides much interest and knowledge of value. As I went through the ritual, I could not help thinking that these organizations, which tie their ritual closely to patriotism and religion, are characteristic of the people of the rural areas of our country and of those who, by and large, make up the majority of our population.

I have been gradually bringing a little order to my Hyde Park home after having been away so much during the past year. The winter blankets have been put away and the summer ones taken out of storage. I need a number of slip covers for furniture, but that cannot be done without a delay.

I rather love short intervals of intensive domestic activity, but whether I would like it over a long time, I do not know. But picking rhubarb in the garden and eating fresh asparagus, which is still coming up, certainly is satisfying!

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL