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

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NEW YORK, Wednesday—I noted a column in one of our New York City evening papers the other day which said that the Leopold dispute in Belgium was making the whole Western line of the Atlantic Pact weak because it threatened civil war in that country.

Of course, it may well be that a religious difference of opinion underlies some of the Belgians' difficulties because religion and government parties are more closely allied in some European countries than they are in the United States. But I do not think the action as to whether the King is actually restored or not is going to cause civil war in Belgium. Nor does it mean if there were a threat to any country in Europe by the Eastern countries that we would find disunity in their opposition to the interference.

I wish we could think a little more about measures that we might take these days to promote and develop allegiance to the democratic countries and show our real desire to be of help where help is needed in material ways.

I think it is very little understood throughout this nation that the Point IV program is not merely a charitable program. It is true that to make it effective we must study the parts of the world where help is needed and decide on the kind of help that is needed. Simultaneously, however, we must know, in order to give efficient help, the ways in which this help can at the same time meet the needs in the United States, because it is the promotion of world trade that is basic to the success of the Point IV program.

We will furnish to the nations that need it our skill and "know-how"—trained people to help them improve their agriculture, improve their industry, improve their trade—but this must be done in relation to the needs of other parts of the world and always with an eye to make it possible for us not only to import but to export.

We must never forget that we cannot preserve our standard of living and full employment unless we export and keep our production at a very high figure. It is quite evident that our statesmen have not realized the importance to us of this Point IV program. If this were so, the Senate would have wholeheartedly supported the President's figure of $45,000,000 and the House would never have decreased the amount to $25,000,000. There would have been no question of any compromise on the lower figure. Nor would we be even whispering that this program might come to an end in five years. It is a long-range program which must continue if it is going to be beneficial to us.

Much of the work will be done through the United Nations and it will be of value to the United States. If anything, we should increase rather than decrease the amount of money put into helping these countries get back on their feet. At the same time we should, through our public relations, make people understand that this is the genuine kind of goodwill and cooperation that creates a two-way street and is of value all around. The Voice of America, if it is given more support, should stress what we do and the spirit of helpfulness in which we do it.

E. R.


Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced

  • New York (N.Y., United States) [ index ]

About this document

My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, May 4, 1950

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.