AUGUST 20, 1945
NEW YORK, Sunday—I hope that everyone in this country read with extreme care the full text of former Prime Minister Churchill's speech in the House of Commons on August 16. He told us things that we need to remember. He and President Truman learned of the success of the atomic bomb in Potsdam. They made the necessary military decisions and communicated to Marshal Stalin the news that this new explosive could be used to bring about peace. Full knowledge remains with us in the United States alone, and, added Mr. Churchill in words I hope we will remember: "I rejoice that this is so. Let them (the United States) act up to the level of their power and responsibility, not for themselves but for all men in all lands, and then a brighter day may dawn in human history."
That is a pretty heavy burden, and one placed upon us not alone by the former Prime Minister. It was placed with us when the scientists working in our country, as well as the availability of our great resources, made my husband decide that we should carry on this research to its ultimate conclusion.
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We must note and remember, also, Mr. Churchill's forthright statement that Marshal Stalin had made it clear a long time ago that three months after the close of the war in Europe he would be able to throw the might of the Soviet Republics into the war in the Pacific. Anyone knowing transportation conditions on the Trans-Siberian Railroad knew, without being told, that this three-month period would be a necessity. But the point is that Marshal Stalin gave his word and kept it. I have been told that it was given as far back as the conference in Teheran. That is a fact we must remember.
One cannot help but be glad that we will have the strong voice and courage of Mr. Churchill as leader of the Opposition in Great Britain. It will be a loyal and straightforward opposition, and that is healthy and good for any country. This is especially so where one party is advocating new ideas and new methods, for clear-thinking opposition will force better thinking on the government in power. The situation in Great Britain is a very clear-cut situation, and many of us understand well why the British people—in spite of their undiminished devotion, affection and never-ending gratitude to former Prime Minister Churchill—still felt that the peacetime problems would be more effectively met by the Labor government.
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We, here, have the same fundamental problems to meet, but our political situation is different. The forces in opposition to each other here are not as clearly visible to the average citizen. In the coming months we will have to devote more time to knowing our representatives as individuals, regardless of their party labels. We will have to make up our minds which are the men who are leading us in the way that we feel will be most effective for our peacetime life as the greatest and most powerful nation in the world.