JUNE 26, 1946
HYDE PARK, Tuesday—So far, we have had such cool weather that yesterday suddenly seemed the first really warm June day. It almost made one listless and I envied my children, who sat in the sun and cooled off in the pool at frequent intervals all morning.
Even the baby who is with us was attracted to the pool and splashed his toes up and down in pure delight. It is wonderful how a modern infant grows accustomed to the water and seems to have no fear. On Sunday, this baby's father started just letting him splash his toes and, before we knew it, he was being jumped up and down in the water and was looking upon it as a most wonderful game. I can remember being terrified of the water, so there are certainly some advantages to modern bringing-up.
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Mrs. Vera Brittain, the English novelist, and Mrs. Putnam, who is a sculptress, arrived from New York to lunch with me. Mrs. Brittain has been lecturing on England for the American Friends Service Committee throughout the country. She has gone practically everywhere except to the deep South.
She said she had found much more interest in international affairs and European conditions than she remembered finding on previous visits. But she did add that she had been talking chiefly to people who, because of their affiliation with the Friends Service Committee, were conscious of their obligations and of conditions in other nations.
One of the questions which she said came up rather frequently was why did Greece, which is so short of food, export some dried fruits, and why did Holland, which is also short of food, export certain foodstuffs. It seems incredible that everyone should not realize that the reason foreign countries continue their strict war rations, in many cases, is because they must have tools and materials with which to start producing again, and to obtain these they must have currency in other nations where the things that they need are for sale. Therefore, they must export something!
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It is almost as essential for us, looking beyond the immediate situation, to help them to obtain these things and start rehabilitation. I am always surprised when I hear people say that it may be harmful to us if these nations produce similar things to what we produce, as though they were afraid that our market would be ruined by rehabilitation in other nations. We have succeeded in a competitive world by somehow producing things which people wanted more than they wanted similar products from other countries, and we will continue to succeed in a competitive world! However, if people have no money with which to buy from us, they cannot acquire our goods, no matter how much they want them.
As a matter of fact, the things produced in other countries are usually different from those produced here. In the past, we have often sent raw materials to other countries and had them returned to us as manufactured goods. Even if we now send manufactured goods, we still can face competition.