The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Sunday—I am very happy to know that a number of people are pressing upon the House of Representatives and the Senate, the importance of appropriating immediately the rest of the money we pledged for this year to the United Nations Relief and Rehabilitation Administration. How can that Administration arrange for transportation and obtain the necessary goods unless they have in hand the money which makes these activities possible? The delay in passing this promised appropriation seems to me to indicate a shameful lack of understanding on the part of our people and their Representatives of the needs of those we have pledges to keep alive during this winter.

We have been critical about the kind of a job that UNRRA has done. I am quite certain that there are places where relief could have been better administered. We deal with human beings and unfortunately human beings are not always perfect in the work which they undertake. We play up in our newspapers the failures which occur, but we rarely tell of the great number of successes. I have letters of gratitude from people in many parts of the world who state that without the goods brought them by UNRRA, their people could not have continued to exist.

With the best administration and executive direction in the world, however, no organization can function unless it is sure of its own future. This is where we, the people, and our Representatives have a responsibility. If we don't do our share by seeing that appropriations which we have pledged are in hand when they are needed, then we are to blame if people starve and if in the future there is ill-will towards us in other parts of the world. It is easy to say that it is no concern of ours what happens to the people of the rest of the world, but we must not forget that the Lord has been kind to us. He might have let us suffer as He let people suffer in other countries. Since he did not, there surely was a purpose behind our salvation. We are a generous people, but even if we acted purely from selfish motives we would deny ourselves today so that we might have goodwill in the future throughout the world. We can not let our Representatives deliberate over an obligation which we must fulfill when every day means less chance to help in this critical winter. Winter is with us now, and it will take at least a month or two before this money can be translated into goods. I know there is suffering in our own country and each one of us in our own community could be more aware of it than we are, but that is no excuse for not seeing that our word is kept so that our share of help goes out to the rest of the world.

I am glad that there are also many private organizations that are trying to help UNRRA, much for instance as the United Nations Food Drive which is collecting and sending food to supplement the work of UNRRA, and the Federal Council of Churches of Christ in America. These committees are already working on Congress for the adoption of next year's appropriation for the UNRRA program which shows that some of us are fully conscious of the need to serve world need as well as domestic need during the next critical years.



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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, December 17, 1945

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
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Digital edition created by The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers Project The George Washington University 312 Academic Building 2100 Foxhall Road, NW Washington, DC 20007

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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a draft version of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library. Transcribed from a My Day column draft dated December 16, 1945, FDR Library, Hyde Park, NY
TMsd, 16 December 1945, AERP, FDRL