The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project

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Dear Mr. President:

I want to tell you now that I have been a short time in India what a really extraordinary job our Ambassador, Mr. Bowles, seems to have done. In one way I think perhaps Providence did something for us when he was defeated in the last election so that he could be available for his present post.

India seems to need very special treatment at this time and seems to be very vital to our own interests. Everywhere, without exception, and I think I have met every government official thus far, tells me what a change there has been in the feeling toward the United States since Mr. Bowles' arrival. They feel now that we understand them, that we are more understanding of their isolationism and that we are beginning to realize that they do not want to become communistic but their problems are so great they feel they cannot take sides.

I only hope that we can do the things that seem essential to them. The problem here is much the same as that of China, though in Nehru we have a leader of infinitely higher quality than Chiang. Mr. Nehru has around him a great many good men. Gandhi has left his mark and there is an unselfish service being given among young and old which might be of help even in our own democracy.

Mr. Bowles has done everything possible for me but I am afraid I can never accomplish what the Indians want as a result of my visit.

With all good wishes,

Very cordially yours,

Eleanor Roosevelt

(Mrs) F. D. Roosevelt