DECEMBER 11, 1946
NEW YORK, Tuesday—It is fitting, I think, that the ashes of Dr. Leo S. Rowe, late Director General of the Pan American Union, should be deposited in the Pan American Union Building in Washington. He devoted his life to the building up of better relations between the Americas. The grief over his passing felt by all the representatives of the Latin American countries is genuine. No one who knew him could doubt his real desire for better understanding among the countries in this hemisphere.
It will be difficult indeed to find a successor to Dr. Rowe. He gave himself completely to his work, and it will take a new director a long time to build up the personal friendships which helped Dr. Rowe so much in accomplishing his official tasks.
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It was sad, too, that the Greek delegation to the United Nations had to suffer the loss of Ambassador Diamantopoulos at this critical time.
Whatever the political situation may be in Greece, no one can doubt that the Greek people have suffered greatly. The reports of conditions among the women and children are heartrending. I hope that there will be no break in the relief program for providing food and medical care for the children of both Europe and Asia.
Children in the countries which were invaded early in the war are now a critical condition. Every added year in a restricted diet means that much less chance for rehabilitation. No one wants to discriminate among children. All of us want to see every child, whether in an enemy or an allied country, properly fed and clothed and housed and given the necessary medical care. Every added year of wartime conditions in a country means serious deterioration in the health of the children.
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We are beginning now to try to remedy the results of war, and we must face the fact that the percentage of tuberculosis and of diseases arising from malnutrition is higher in certain countries than in others. As it becomes more and more possible to send personal packages to individuals, I hope this will be done, but I hope it will not be done at the expense of the overall contribution to relief which will be distributed on the basis of need.
And I hope that whatever organization conducts this work will emphasize the fact that not just any kind of food, but the kind of food and medicine to stop the ravages of disease and build up resistance, must be provided. Even if the countries which did not suffer war on their own doorsteps have to continue restrictions in their own diet, the future will justify their sacrifice.