NOVEMBER 10, 1943
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Today in the East Room of the White House we witnessed a very memorable occasion. The representatives of 44 nations sat around a long table with the President of the United States. Behind them were their flags, brilliantly lit by the lights of the crystal chandeliers and the photographers' and news reels' lamps.
I watched each man go up to represent his country and thought how interesting it was that, before the end of the war, we have the vision this time to realize that there is much work to do and preparation by the peoples of the United Nations is necessary.
Some of us had slipped into the East Room to look at the pageant of colors before any delegates arrived. One of the White House guards remarked, "This is wonderful. I only hope that we will stay together this time after the war and not repeat what we did before."
I think the mere fact that this meeting is being held, is a promise that we shall not repeat our past mistakes. It also shows clearly that the governments of the nations know that this must be a joint undertaking. There, in that room, 80 percent of the population of the world was represented but I could not help thinking that the people who are really going to make the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Agreement a success or a failure, will soon have to be brought into the picture.
Every nation which has not suffered to the point of destitution during the war, must set itself to work now to save to lay up huge stocks of food, clothing and machinery for the future. This means that innumerable people will have to conserve food, materials and machinery. It will have to be done by people as individuals in every nation, but particularly by those nations where bombs have never fallen.
Almost always it is women who are the members of the family who have to start to make these savings possible. They have to remind their men of the extra care that has to be taken of this and that.
In this country we have never been very careful of our machinery. The life of many a machine could be lengthened on the farm, in the home and in the factory. The time has come for us to think a bit, because this saving can not begin when the war ends.
It must begin immediately, because the results of the savings must be in the hands of UNRRA as each new area is liberated by our united military effort. This is really a call and challenge to the women in the fortunate countries, from their unfortunate sisters who have suffered so much in the past few years. In this country we can only answer for ourselves, but I hope our answer will be generous.