MAY 28, 1945
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I have a letter from a friend which says: "I am seriously disturbed by the rising tide of criticism about our two chief Allies in the war, Russia and Great Britain."
This letter points up something which a number of people seem to feel, for I have read editorials on the subject of the amount of common gossip which one can hear in almost any gathering of people today. Frequently it is said that this type of gossip is started deliberately as enemy propaganda, and anyone who is familiar with "Tokyo Rose" in the Pacific knows that many rumors start from her broadcasts.
I suppose there are people in this country still working for Nazi and Fascist interests deliberately. In addition, however, there are a great many people who, without knowing it, are working against the future peace of the world. These are the people who are motivated in all they do primarily by fear.
They are afraid that their statesmen are not going to be equal to dealing with the statesmen of foreign nations on an equal basis.
They are afraid that we are not going to be able to compete with strong nations in the world of the future, and therefore they want to keep other nations weak.
They are afraid of Russia, and therefore feel that Germany must not be too weak; or they are afraid of Great Britain and believe that we must curtail her prosperity in any way possible.
Fear is the chief word in their vocabulary.
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These are the people who pass on any disparaging things they may hear about other peoples or other governments before they really investigate to find out whether these things are true; and, if so, whether there is a reason why they are true.
I remember the indignation with which someone wrote to me that on D-Day our ships, operating against the Nazis in France, were charged for docking facilities in a British port. On investigation I found that our ships were paying, just as every other ship paid, a small sum of money for docking privileges, and these funds were used to keep the port going. Had we not paid, we would not have been doing our share. This is common practice throughout the world, and we expect others to do the same.
I think the only assurance we have that in the future we can hope for a chance to build peace lies in our own sense of confidence in ourselves. We may differ with our Allies. We have in the past. If we live up to our word once given, however, that will lead others to trust in our strength, because it is exercised by men of goodwill, with love in their hearts which wipes out fear.