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


NEW YORK, Thursday—In my mail yesterday I found a letter which the writer told me he was sending to several people in the Government, and I can't help thinking that it makes sense, so I publish it here:

"This is John Q. Public talking—talking about the price of peace.

"Like millions of other Johns, I bought Defense Bonds because I didn't want to see war come to us.

"And then like millions of other Johns, I bought War Bonds because I wanted to end the war as quickly as possible.

"Those billions of dollars helped doctor a sick world, but the ravages of that illness are still with us. The distress, the suffering, the famine, the fear of millions of Johns and their families in Europe and elsewhere is almost beyond the comprehension of the Johns of the still fabulously rich U. S.

"Since distress, suffering, famine, fear is the mixture that creates the Hitlers of history, obviously the ravages of World War II are the festering grounds for World War III, or the Great Holocaust. Obviously, too, the pattern will be repeated and we will have Defense Bonds and War Bonds.

"Why wait? Why wait for Defense Bond and War Bond drives for World War III? Why wait and blow our bond money into the faces of our brothers in other parts of the world? Why not have a Peace Bond drive now and blow our bond money into the mouths, the hands, the living hearts of the people in distress?

"Are the glories of war so great that we would more willingly buy bonds to win a war than buy bonds to buy a peace? They say it will take $10,000,000,000 to straighten out the economics and straighten up the backs of the distressed nations of the world. That's only the price of a few days of World War III.

“Let's have a Peace Bond drive now and raise that ten billion. Let the 'arsenal of democracy' demonstrate its love for peace as well as its strength for war. Peace Bond drive now—or War Bond drives later. Is there a John Q. Public anywhere who would hesitate in his choice?”

* * *

The suggestion made by Henry Wallace in Paris that a loan to the USSR might be made through the International Bank under given conditions does not seem to me such a foolish idea, for certainly the USSR is a much devastated country and must need a loan as much as any other country.

However, I can't help feeling that we really ought to make a loan, not of money only but of men as well. Our best and brightest young executives in every field should be picked by their superiors who know their ability. They should be made responsible for producing results through a comprehensive loan which would really begin to rehabilitate the world.

It is a tremendous dream, but I think the time calls for more imagination and for dreaming on a vaster scale than we have ever had before. It's men with energy and ability, backed by the resources which they know this country has, who can swing a gigantic economic program such as we face today in the world as a whole.



Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

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About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, April 25, 1947

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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Digital edition published 2008, 2017 by
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MEP edition publlished on June 30, 2008.

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Transcription created from a photocopy of a UFS wire copy of a My Day column instance archived at the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library.