MARCH 13, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—The meeting in Philadelphia last night was very impressive. Thousands of people do not gather together for an evening meeting of speeches unless they are really interested in the topic discussed. It is evident to me that our people are really deeply interested in the subject of winning the war and winning the peace.
However, it is possible that we shall do what we did before. I am old enough to remember with some bitterness, the assurances of many people that they believed in an organization for world peace. Certain people believed in many of the international agreements which had been proposed on a nonpartisan basis. But when it came down to the the final analysis, domestic issues controlled their votes.
In the long run, there was no compromise and no organization for peace was achieved. The thirty-one eminent gentlemen who believed in the League of Nations never could persuade the members of their own political party that there was any basis on which we, in this country, could effect a compromise and go to work for peace in the world.
So we turned around and concentrated on domestic issues and felt very virtuous, because all we asked was payment by the other nations of the money we lent them during the war. The net result was that we put them in a position where they could not recover prosperity themselves, and in time our ephemeral prosperity disappeared also.
I listened to Governor Stassen last night with great interest. I do not question his sincerity, for he is a fine person. I hope that in the course of events the similarities which are apparent in this situation may not come to fruition in the future.
I have no particular formula for the way we shall function after the war. I only feel sure that we must function together and I am glad that we are preparing now for work as the United Nations. It must be real work and real unity must exist. We must all have an opportunity to express ourselves freely and to lay the plans for what we feel will be a solid foundation for world peace. It won't be enough if only Great Britain and the United States feel that the plan is good. It must be a plan which Russia, China and all the United Nations subscribe to wholeheartedly and which they feel we all mean to carry through.