My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I am always interested when I see that a loan is to be granted to a country in which it may raise the standard of living of the people.

That is the whole object of our Point 4 program, but we must not forget that money alone is not going to win us the victory in our fight against communism. Nor will money alone really raise the standard of living in any backward area; with it there must be technical help provided, either through the wise guidance of some specific nation or through the United Nations. It may be essential in some cases that a health program be established before the loan can be used in a way which will better the economic conditions of a country. It may be necessary to strengthen the whole educational system of a country before the money loan can bring about any results in the desired field.

We have, in this country, many young doctors and engineers and skilled specialists of various kinds who would gain great experience and render a service to humanity if they undertook the guidance of some of the projects, or some of the areas in which the projects are to be started with the money lent to nations that need economic assistance for development.

Many nations today have untold natural resources but money is needed to plan both the discovery and the development of these resources. I remember, for instance, flying over miles and miles of Brazil and looking down on untouched tropical forests and rivers. In many cases, the air and the streams provide the only access to the deep interior of this vast country. That means railroad building, road building, improvements of navigation, development of airfields for each project that is undertaken. And in many cases it means a tremendous job of sanitation and the providing of shelter for the settlers or even for temporary workers, and of food and educational facilities.

This aid that should go with money loans is just as important as the money, for it is actually the means by which the misery and hopelessness which accepts communism can be eliminated. The promises of the Communists thrive in the area where famine and lack of opportunity exist. That is why the democracies have to think in terms of providing not only money but tangible help along so many different lines to win the victory for free people and to prevent the enslavement of hopeless people.

I was particularly glad to hear the other day that we are about to find some means in this country by which we can share with less fortunate countries some of our surplus foodstuffs. The difficulty always has seemed to lie in the fact that dollars are scarce among the nations who need the foodstuffs and the transportation costs have proved prohibitive. On the other hand, it seemed to me, the costs of shipping couldn't be much greater than our expenses of storage.

It would be to the interest of our farmers to have these foodstuffs moved and though I do believe in trying to keep a certain balance on hand to cover our own needs in case of a bad year, I think the need for sharing with others is equally great and, as far as possible, should be paramount at the present time.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL