JULY 10, 1950
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I received a letter the other day telling me the welcome news that 16 Greek children had arrived in Australia by air from Yugoslavia to rejoin their parents. This has been accomplished through the Australian Council for International Social Service. The woman writing me came to see me about it last year.
I think our Greek population in the United States will be interested to know that in Australia they expect 50 more children to come to their parents from Yugoslavia. They also hope to receive 200 to 300 children out of other European countries with which they are just beginning negotiations. The parents must complete their applications and have these in good order before the Australian government can act.
My correspondent writes in the letter: "Our first application was to Yugoslavia, and we have had the help of the Australian Minister for External Affairs and Minister for Immigration. The Yugoslav government has been particularly cooperative and the Consulate General for Yugoslavia in Australia—from the Consul General right through the staff—have all been most helpful, sparing neither time nor trouble over the documentation for us.
"It was a great joy to see the first group arrive yesterday. They had flown all the way from Belgrade, but even after such a long and tiring trip they were very fit. They had been well cared for in Yugoslavia, and had been well outfitted by the Yugoslav Red Cross with very suitable clothing for both cold and the tropics before leaving Yugoslavia."
Nothing could make me happier than to know in this troubled world that this, at least, is being done to make parents and children happier.
To turn to something that is primarily of domestic interest, but which seems to me important, the Amvets—who represent World War II veterans—write me that they are troubled by the small number of voters who go to the polls in this country. They say, "One of the great strengths of democracy is the ballot. Therefore, Amvets will conduct a national program based on the theme of, 'Vote as you please, but vote,' to be known as 'Operations Ballot.'"
This is to be a nonpartisan undertaking, simply to help to make democracy work. It is one of the most important things that could be done in our country, because it is essential that the people of a democracy actually feel personal responsibility. To this end, voting is of primary importance.