JANUARY 12, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday —Last night I attended the Netherland-America Foundation dinner in honor of Princess Juliana of the Netherlands. It is always a great pleasure for me to be with this young princess who is so deeply interested in the good of her country. She has already begun making studies of the best ways to handle certain conditions after the war, and is showing foresight in her preparation for her return to Holland.
Someone has just sent me a clipping from a newspaper in which the question is asked: "Why are the Indian people allowed to starve?" They have asked that I answer this question in my column.
It seems to me that everybody must realize what has happened in India. A great deal of food used in the section where starvation has occurred came in the old days from Burma, and that source of supply is cut off. At best there was never too much food. Now they cannot raise enough food for their own needs, and shipping is not available to import it.
I gather that Great Britain is doing much at present to remedy the situation as far as it can be remedied, but I doubt whether the Indian people were ever well-fed according to our standards. This is probably due to the fact that most people have not been much interested in what happened to the people of India. Perhaps when the war is over, we will realize how much closer together we all are and will take greater interest in the economic condition of people throughout the world.
I have had a type of military honor roll which is being used in New Haven, Conn. by some of the churches drawn to my attention. It is suggested that the churches print and mail to their parishioners in the service, a list of all their fellow members with their service addresses. If a man in the service finds himself in a place where his list tells him some of his fellow parishioners are stationed, he can look them up and they can reminisce about their home surroundings. This is a good idea which might be copied in various parts of our country.
The other day I received a cable from Great Britain which I think the women of this country will be pleased to read. It reads: "Once again British and Allied women celebrating International Women's Day to affirm resolve together that all free women achieve speedily final defeat Hitler. Determination participation reconstruction, send greetings." It was signed by Lady Rachel MacRobert, International Women's Day committee, Abbey House, Victoria, London.
We are glad to know that women of many nationalities are meeting together to celebrate an international day to help speed victory and to help in reconstructing a world in which peace may be achieved.