JANUARY 9, 1948
HYDE PARK, Thursday—Morris Llewellyn Cooke, engineering and conservation expert, who wrote a recent article on the shelterbelt tree-planting in the Middle Western states, has sent me a volume of photographs which the Department of Agriculture put together and which cover that whole area. They show the change that has come since the wind can no longer blow the top soil off the land from Canada to the Gulf.
These tree plantings, which were begun against so much opposition and in the face of so much doubt, have justified their existence. I am placing this volume of photographs in the Franklin D. Roosevelt Library, since I think historians in the years to come are perhaps going to find that this shelterbelt planting was one of the most valuable contributions made during the depression toward the permanent rehabilitation of one part of our country. No farmer with foresight will cut down any of his shelterbelt trees today, for he has seen what they mean to his agricultural well-being.
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I have been anxiously waiting to see some report of projects along these lines which we helped the Greeks to undertake. It made me unhappy to hear that we were sending a number of marines to warships in the Mediterranean area. It may be necessary to do this, but I wonder if it is because our plans of rehabilitation for Greece are not working out so well.
Rehabilitating the Greek army and providing them with guns and ammunition is not going to answer the Communist menace. There is only one way to answer that. It is to give the young people a vision and a chance to work on the constructive rehabilitation of their country. That means building dams to create water power, increasing agricultural development, providing jobs at decent pay.
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Our State Department has released evidence which they believe conclusive that Albania, Bulgaria and Yugoslavia are sending into Greece more and more arms for the guerrillas. The Greek army may conquer the guerrillas and they may shoot the leaders, but that will not bring peace. The chance to work and the hope of future prosperity in their country are the only things that will turn the guerrillas from dissatisfied bandits into loyal and productive citizens.
I have no knowledge whether the present Government of Greece is reactionary or progressive, whether or not it represents fairly accurately the various political factions of the country. However, whatever its politics may be, we are providing the money and presumably the brains for economic rehabilitation. A report on that to this country would go far, I think, to allay the fears of both the reactionaries, who would like to do nothing more for Europe, and the liberals, who would like to do a better job constructively than they think has been accomplished so far.