JUNE 26, 1941
EASTPORT, Maine, Wednesday—A man in Brooklyn, N. Y., sends me a clipping containing a few words I had said about our responsibility, as a nation, to the world, and comments on it in a little rhyme about "looking out for number one, before anything has begun." He thinks we haven't "plenty to spare" and can't "send it all over there."
It does seem to me that the gentleman misses the point. If we bend every effort now to produce necessary material help for those who are doing the fighting in a cause which we believe to be right, we may keep the war from our shores. If Great Britain, China and Russia lose, sooner or later, we will have to fight.
No matter how well prepared we are, 175,000,000 people in this hemisphere will have quite a struggle; first on the economic side and eventually on the military side.
We shall be pitted against 500,000,000 people in Europe and Japan, and Heaven knows how many more if Russia is not able to hold out. I don't want war, but I think that every effort we can put into production and military preparation to aid those fighting Hitler, is our best guarantee against war; and our only safety, should it come.
Yesterday afternoon, I went over to Lubec, Maine, to see my old friend, Dr. Bennett, who is now 90 years old. He is deeply troubled by the state of the world and kept repeating: "What has happened to the goodness in the world?" I think a good many of us would like to know the answer to that question.
We went in to see Dr. Bennett's son, who is also a doctor, and told him that there would be thirty young people in this house for five weeks. I think he may have to keep in eye on them now and then, and I reminded him of some of the escapades his father had pulled many of our people through in days gone by.
In the evenings, we read aloud from William Shirer's, "War Diary." The book is a wonderful piece of vivid writing. It is extraordinary that he was able to do his work in Berlin, feeling as he did, and not get into serious trouble. It must have required an amount of self-control which very few of us possess.