My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

Text Size: Small Text Normal Text Large Text Larger Text

NEW YORK—Very few of us realize what it means to support a force in the field far from home. Some people tell me that for one man actually in the fighting line there are about eight men needed to keep him there. This is, of course, not so for some fighting forces, but for us this seems to be about the ratio needed.

President Eisenhower's special representative in Lebanon, Mr. Robert Murphy, who is accustomed to dealing with delicate and controversial subjects, has been working night and day in an effort to promote a compromise between the feuding Government and Opposition chiefs in that country. I doubt, however, if he has ever found himself quite in as delicate a position as the one he is in now.

It seemed a pity for Adel Osseiran, Speaker of the Chamber of Deputies, which elects the president of Lebanon, to announce the postponement of this election which was to have taken place on Thursday, but probably that was a wise decision. One must reach all factions in the hope of finding some kind of compromise, but nobody envies Mr. Murphy his difficulties doing this. He is not the only statesman in the world treading on eggs these days.

There is no country which seems to be without problems at the present time. Jordan has announced that two of her senior ministers who were in Baghdad at the time of the Iraqi coup were murdered, and that five others are missing.

Someone suggested to me yesterday that the safest situation for Jordan would be an alliance with Israel! This would bring economic advantages to both countries and would strongthen the security position of both.

There is no reason why these Arab countries should not have nationalist aspirations. Each of them naturally wishes to be a free country under an Arab government. But it seems to me that this can be accomplished without war and need not mean a tight binding together of these nations under the dictatorship of President Nasser of Egypt.

The minute Mr. Nasser dictates to each of them they have no more freedom. The United Arab Republic seems to me to be a group of nations joined together for certain specific objectives to which each one agrees, but obliged at all times to accept what is decided in Cairo.

One of the interesting things that has happened in the past few days is the bid made by Nikita Khrushchev to scientists and engineers of all kinds, regardless of whether they are Communists or not, to come and serve under the Communist governments.

His offer sounds like a good one from the capitalist point of view. He says: "We shall pay him (the scientist and engineer) well. Give him a good salary, a dacha (country house) and so forth. Those who work well, who bring great service to society, let them have the things they deserve."

This is the philosophy of the capitalists as well as of the Communists, and evidently Mr. Khrushchev needs skills from the West, not having apparently developed enough of them yet in his own country.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL