JANUARY 30, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—I have been reading the memoirs of former Secretary of State Cordell Hull, and I find them very interesting. They are like him. Anyone who looks at his face has a feeling of the beauty of the character behind it. His memoirs are not petty in any way, and I think his judgement of people is on the same level.
He accepted great responsibility and carried it with courage and a high sense of duty. To have been Secretary of State through such a long period and in such troublous times is something that few men could have come through as he did, keeping the confidence and high opinion of the people as a whole.
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Mr. Hull has paid the price which so many men pay for hard and conscientious work. He finally had to give up because of ill health. But in spite of that, he has managed to finish his book, which to historians of the future will be an essential document. I cannot help hoping that his papers will someday find their way to the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library at Hyde Park and be available for those who, in later times, wish to study this period.
That he saw more nearly eye to eye with my husband on foreign affairs than on domestic affairs does not surprise me. And his description of how he and my husband differed and then went on to other things is so characteristic that it is most amusing to me. My mother-in-law would have been happy to have him say such appreciative words about her, and I can well imagine how much she enjoyed their conversations.
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A friend has sent me an amusing quotation from the introduction by Walter Millis to the diaries of Raoul de Roussy de Sales. He wonders why so many people want solutions to social and international problems when in their own lives there are so many insoluble problems—they sometimes die without ever having found the complete solution to them.
I feel a little this way when I am being inundated with plans which people feel sure will solve all questions for the United Nations and bring us peace immediately. Long ago I made up my mind that all we could expect was to create an atmosphere in which peace could grow, to take up each step as it came and do the best we could, hoping that in solving little problems we would eventually create a basis which would help to solve our big problems.
If only our citizens could come to understand that there is no one solution to the problems before the world, and that each of us, in solving the problems of citizenship in our own community to the best of our ability, is contributing to the final solution of the big problem! That is one of the most important lessons that all of us can learn.