MAY 16, 1947
HYDE PARK, Thursday—A very interesting letter to the London Times, written by two young American journalists, came to my attention the other day. It deals with Henry A. Wallace's recent European travels.
I am glad that these writers acknowledge Mr. Wallace's right to travel and to speak, but I am a little surprised that they think he has actually represented himself as "carrying on President Franklin D. Roosevelt's foreign policy." No one could do that because anyone who knew my husband knew that, while he had definite objectives always in mind, he met each situation as it arose and he took into consideration the immediate factors involved.
Neither these two brilliant young journalists nor any of the associates of Franklin D. Roosevelt could be sure what his policies would actually be today. When people talk about his policies in connection with the future or with situations which have occurred since April 12, 1945, they are guessing, pure and simple. Mr. Wallace knows this and I do not think he has ever represented himself as being better able than anybody else to say what would be the attitude of Franklin D. Roosevelt under the present conditions.
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I think it is much more important that all those who are progressives and are trying to lead progressive thought today should concentrate on what their own beliefs are. I should like to urge particularly on the young men and young women, who are looking forward to a long life of usefulness, that they keep certain things in mind.
The world today is interdependent economically. Therefore, there must be a world economic plan. Two strong political ideas are before the world today—Communism and democracy. The representatives of these two theories are going to work hard to prove which one can most effectively serve the people of the world and give them the most satisfactory control over their governments and over the general standards of living.
Lastly, peace is essential or our civilization faces destruction. Therefore a spiritual leadership which proves to the world the goodwill of men for each other, even when they hold differing political and economic theories, is essential to the working out of any constructive plans for the future.
It seems to me that our young people here at home, who must be the leaders in the rehabilitation of the world, have got to recognize that this battle is going to be won or lost in the individual communities of this, the greatest democracy of the world. They must realize that the responsibility does not lie only with our government representatives but also with each one of us as individual citizens. Our willingness to accept responsibility in our communities will, in the long run, be the deciding factor in the battle for the future.