NOVEMBER 7, 1945
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—This is election day, the day on which we exercise our free right in the choice of our representatives as citizens of the United States. My husband always said that no people could be enslaved who kept their secret ballot. I have always had a mental reservation, however, since we have to use it as independent, thinking citizens, responsible for our own actions, if we wish to remain free.
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There is in Europe at the present time a group of 100,000 displaced persons—the miserable, tortured, terrorized Jews who have seen members of their families murdered and their homes ruined, and who are stateless people, since they hate the Germans and no longer wish to live in the countries where they have been despoiled of all that makes life worth living. Naturally they want to go to Palestine, the one place where they will have a status, where they will feel again that sense of belonging to a community which gives most of us security.
President Truman has asked Great Britain for consideration of their condition and permission for their admittance to Palestine. Prime Minister Attlee is said to be coming over the end of this month to discuss this and other matters with the President.
It seems to me urgent that these people be given permission to go to the home of their choice. They are the greatest victims of this war. We might as well face the fact that we may be asked to assume some responsibility; and, if so, we should be prepared to do it. Our consciences can hardly be clear when we read about and see the pictures of these emaciated, miserable people who suffer while we sit comfortably and let them die at the rate of 50 per day—which is what is happening now, I am told.
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It seems to me imperative, also, that the Senate pass the UNRRA appropriation as rapidly as possible. The House passed it but attached some restrictions, which seems to me an untenable position for us to take in view of the fact that this is a contribution to a fund in which we are only one of many contributors, and the rules for which are laid down by the group as a whole. We authorized our appropriation some time ago. The need is great. Other nations have paid their full share for the first year and even made their appropriations for the second year. We have not yet made available the whole of our first year's appropriation, and we want to tie strings to it!
The Senate, it seems to me, has a grave responsibility to the American people to see that their good name is protected in the family of nations. This is not the way to create goodwill and respect towards us who are the strongest people, from the material standpoint, in the world today.