OCTOBER 26, 1943
HYDE PARK, Monday—I have a letter from a woman in Michigan, the mother of a son who is now serving on foreign soil, and another boy already in the service. She asks that I draw her suggestion to the attention of my readers and I am very glad to do so.
Mrs. Johnson, of Ironwood, Michigan, feels, that in planning for peace, mothers of boys in our services and German mothers and Russian mothers could sit down and discuss certain broad phases of the promotion of goodwill among nations in the future, perhaps more easily and more realistically than the diplomats and economists who are usually in evidence when such plans are being formulated.
I do not know that I would limit it only to mothers. I think I would say many women with sons, husbands and friends serving overseas, have a deep interest in this question of preventing wars in the future. Mrs. Johnson suggests that the diplomatic and economic questions should not be a part of the women's discussion, but I feel that, perhaps the women should set themselves to studying all the questions that must form a basis for peace.
Merely generating goodwill, which will make women willing to work together, is not going to be enough. We shall have to know how nations will be fed and built up again into self-supporting units which can help to build up and support the other nations in the world. We are a family of nations and need each other to live well. We shall have to be able to understand the economic questions underlying all diplomatic understandings, for goodwill can never exist unless it is built on a firm foundation of cooperative well-being.
A gesture of goodwill from a group of women in Great Britain came to me in a cable the other day. I am reprinting it here because I think it is an example of something which might be done by many organizations. This particular group happens to be a British trade union group.
"The conference representing 300,000 women members of the British Transport and General Workers Union employed in war industries sends fraternal greetings to women of America and congratulates them on the magnificent stand they are making in the fight for freedom and democracy. Arthur Deakin, Acting General Secretary."
That is recognition by a group of organized women in Great Britain of the way our women have shouldered their responsibilities in the war effort. Many groups in this country should congratulate their sisters in other nations of the world who are fighting in industry, the military services, on farms and in the homes. Without their work the armies in the field would be ill supported and could not long continue their victorious way.