AUGUST 4, 1951
HYDE PARK, Friday—Last Monday I made my annual visit to the Vassar Summer Institute for Family and Community Living. This group is a most interesting gathering of parents and children who spend some time at Vassar. While the children are being taken care of by trained people the parents have an opportunity to attend courses and study a variety of subjects, some of them dealing with the children's lives and their upbringing.
I can always depend on this group to ask extremely interesting questions, and this year was no exception. I find these people stimulating and am always glad of the opportunity to talk with them.
On Thursday a section of the young people who are here to attend the World Assembly of Youth, meeting at Cornell University, came to Hyde Park. I had missed seeing one of the earlier sections which came on a day when I was in New York City, but I was pleased to have an opportunity to talk to these youngsters. They had bus trouble, which I find is not infrequent on these expeditions, and they were very late in arriving but they made the most of their time and seemed to enjoy their visit.
I wonder if many people realize what a tremendous piece of work has been undertaken by CARE in Yugoslavia through this summer.
Yugoslavia is one of the countries that suffered most during World War II, but it was nature which seemed to frown upon her recovery last year and brought her 75 days of drought. Four million tons of foodstuffs were lost—60 percent of the harvest that had been expected to feed the people until the end of this summer when the new harvest could be made.
There was already in Yugoslavia a great deal of economic dislocation because of her break with the Soviet countries in 1948. This break was made because of the patriotic nationalism of the Yugoslav people, who, even though they are convinced Communists, want to retain their national freedom. In making the break with the Soviet area it meant that much of their trade, which had been with the countries behind the Iron Curtain, was cut off. This created great hardship. Our government has helped Yugoslavia by loans and our people have helped by sending food packages through CARE.
CARE is always able to organize the most difficult undertakings, so it was rapidly able to distribute thousands of food packages. These were donated by Americans who have friends or relatives in Yugoslavia, and even by Americans who have no personal tie but who wanted to help where there was need.
Congressman John A. Blatnik of Minnesota said in a speech recently that CARE had successfully obtained nearly 35,000,000 pounds of surplus food from the Department of Agriculture. This included powdered milk and egg powder, which is being distributed under the supervision of the CARE mission staff. This staff is composed of Americans and they see that the food goes to the neediest people. This food was contributed without cost, but the transportation and packaging has to be paid for by CARE, so they are asking for $5.35, which will guarantee the delivery of each 300 pounds of this surplus food.
Every mouthful that reaches these people not only is a token of our goodwill but is a weapon against Communist domination.