MARCH 3, 1947
CHICAGO, Sunday—In Herbert Hoover's report on Germany, his suggestion that about 75 of our now unused Liberty ships be temporarily operated by German crews to transport food and raw materials to Germany seems to me eminently sensible. I have always felt that some use should be found for those ships. If we can also supply some fishing boats to replace those lost in the war, that would seem to me a wise manner of increasing the available food for the German people.
I cannot imagine that it is really a surprise to the American taxpayers that they are faced with considerable expenditures, for some years to come, in order to get the continent of Europe back on a self-supporting basis. It has long been accepted by most of us that nobody wins a war. The Allies were victorious; but everyone, the conqueror and the conquered, pays a price after the fighting is over in modern war.
We need markets for our goods in the future. Therefore, all thinking people have long known that Germany has to return to a self-supporting basis. The only question is how that shall be brought about without rebuilding Germany as a great economic power on which all the other nations of Europe would depend for their industrial supplies and which also would be a constant war menace. The problems of Germany cannot be looked at alone. They are in the heart of Europe and affect all Europeans.
Personally I hope there will be internationalization of the Ruhr and control, through that, of the type of German industry that is allowed to grow. But there must also be careful planning and lending on our part to build up in other European nations some of the industries which before were in Germany. At the same time, we must help Germany to build such industries as she needs for exports, since it is self-evident that we cannot expect to create in the heart of Europe a happy and democratic people unless they have hope for the future.
This is a tremendous planning job and the best brains—financial, industrial and agricultural—that can be found should be working on it. Not our people alone, nor the northern Europeans alone, but all the people of Europe, including Russia and the eastern European nations, should be interested in this planning. The development and growth of contentment must come in all of the countries that have been at war or there is no hope for future peace.
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The day I left New York was a very busy one and I really had difficulty in getting away on Friday evening! On Saturday morning, in Detroit, I spoke for the United Jewish Appeal, then spent the rest of the day visiting with my family.
I have one young niece there who seems to be able not only to bring up three fine, healthy little boys under five, but also manages to draw for two hours every afternoon. She showed me some illustrations she has been doing for a book and I found them fascinating.
Miss Thompson and I left for Chicago Saturday evening. Today, Sunday, will be devoted to a trip to Walworth, Wisconsin, where my eldest grandson is at the Northwestern Military and Naval Academy.