SEPTEMBER 11, 1945
HYDE PARK, Monday—I have received through the State Department, in the last few days, messages which are not meant only for me. One of them comes from Adelaide, Australia, and reads:
"South Australian Housewives Association desires to express through you congratulations to women of America victory Europe. Our thoughts and prayers for speedy victory in the Pacific."
I know that women the world over thought of each other in all the different countries and would liked to have clasped hands across the many oceans and rejoiced—first, when the war ended in Europe, and more, when it ended in the Pacific and we could say the world was again at peace.
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Besides these cables I received several from South and Central America, Great Britain, France and other countries showing that as the war ended the thoughts of many people were filled with gratitude to my husband, as well as to President Truman and the present administration and to the whole people of the United States.
It is good to feel this friendly spirit flowing across the oceans and I hope that many people will acknowledge that our responsibility to build this feeling continues throughout the coming years. One of the first and striking gestures of goodwill which we can be proud of is the fact that on Wednesday, September 19, a ship will be loaded at a New York City pier with 100,000,000 pounds of clothing contributed by the American people during the United National Clothing Collection. This ship is bound for Yugoslavia. The need there is apparent to every visitor who sets foot in that country.
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In the following sentences we get a little picture of what women are facing in England. The letter comes from Lady Reading, head of the Women's Voluntary Services for Civil Defense.
"We are anticipating a pretty tough winter. Obviously, housing is our biggest and crying need—the number of houses that have been destroyed, quite apart from the houses that have not been able to be repaired or kept up to date, owing to shortage of labor, is something fantastic and wherever you go or whoever you talk to, the one predominating worry is for a place to live in.
"Alongside of that we are, of course, full of apprehension of the difficulties we are going to have to meet this coming winter in food, clothing and fuel. In fact, it looks as if one's worries will not let up for quite a little time. But undoubtedly the fact that we need no longer worry in regards to people facing death does make a very great difference. We are very conscious of the fact that resistance will be very much lower this year and we must be ready for quite a lot of illness."
Not a happy picture but one we must remember, for it is repeated over and over again in many countries.