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


HYDE PARK, Friday—Henry Wallace says that he is in favor of helping Greece and that he believes in the humanitarian side of the Marshall Plan, but that he would turn the aid program over to the United Nations and that aid should be given without consideration of political beliefs, on a basis of need, with the only strings attached being that nothing be used for preparation for war.

Let's look at that program. Most of the aid for Europe has to come from us or through arrangements which we make with other nations. We have no means for inspection. How would we know that none of the aid we sent was used for war preparation?

We have offered a perfectly fair system for control of atomic energy by the United Nations and for inspection of all the nations under that plan. The people who have stymied it right along are the Russians. Mr. Wallace would say that is because they know we have the bombs. They also know quite well that we have offered to give them to the United Nations under the control plan. I do not think we have always been wise or tactful in our approach to the Government of the USSR, but basically we have been the ones to make the constructive offers and they have been the ones to refuse.

* * *

Mr. Wallace's objection, of course, to the present support we are giving Greece is that Great Britain returned the King to Greece with the kind of government Great Britain wanted. Possibly the people were not anxious for that type of government, but the people have had plenty of time and opportunity to express themselves since then, and have done so. Neither Great Britain nor the United States has such great military power in Greece that the Greeks are under any compulsion to have a government of which they do not approve.

The "government" established recently by the guerrillas is led by a known Communist. Certainly the Greeks have a right to ask for help in remaining a democratic state; and certainly the steady progress of the USSR's political influence over every state which they have taken over shows that they have every intention of spreading Communism wherever they can. Are we to be so naive as to believe that, with such a program well under way, a few gentle words from us will change the USSR's policy?

Foreign Minister Molotov's statement that we had refused at the London Conference to allow Germany to rehabilitate itself industrially because we were afraid of Germany becoming a competitor, may seem laughable to us, but it is proof of the type of thing that Russian representatives say, knowing full well they are not telling the truth. We feel that Germany should be helped to rebuild along peaceful lines, but we do not want to risk having the military group again take over control. The USSR knows that as well as we do, but she thinks it sounds well to the people of Germany and of Europe to announce that we are retarding German recovery out of fear of economic competition.

Oh, Mr. Wallace, if you were President you would not have such pat sentences to offer us! You would find it far harder to act constructively than you suggest in your speeches!

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • Hyde Park (Dutchess County, N.Y., United States) [ index ]
Other Terms and Topics
  • Communism
         [ LC ]
  • Economic assistance
         [ LC | Wikidata | FAST ]
  • Industrial recoversion
  • Nuclear energy
         [ LC | FAST ]
  • Soviet Union--Government
  • Soviet Union--politics

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, January 3, 1948

Roosevelt, Eleanor, 1884-1962
[ ERPP bio | LC | VIAF | WorldCat | DPLA | Wikidata | SNAC ]

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

  • Brick, Christopher (Editor)
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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.