The Eleanor Roosevelt Papers, Digital Edition > My Day
MARCH 8, 1951
NEW YORK, Wednesday—The four Republican Congressmen who did not agree with the House Foreign Affairs Committee decision to send two million tons of grain to India make the legal point that Congress cannot use public money for charitable purposes. They quote the Constitution authorizing Congress only to "provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States." The majority, however, contends that to give this wheat to India is in the interests of the general welfare of this country because it will help to strengthen anti-Communist feeling in India.
The four dissenting Republicans are: Rep. John M. Vorys, Ohio; Rep. Robert B. Chiperfield, Illinois; Rep. Lawrence H. Smith, Wisconsin; and Rep. Carroll Reece, Tennessee. They also are influenced by the fact that President Truman and the committee have "shown unprecedented forebearance and tolerance toward the important political differences between our government and the government of India."
I wonder if these gentlemen have stopped to think how we would feel if we differed with another nation and needed help on humanitarian grounds and our political differences of opinion were used against us when we were begging to keep our people from starvation.
India has a vast population. It is a new republic and it is faced with great economic difficulties just as most newly formed governments are. It had been a colonial possession and the people naturally expect that their own government will give them, overnight, all the things they were denied under colonial rule. Obviously, that is impossible, but similar hopes and disappointments have led before to civil war and revolution.
For us in the United States India is a very important area of the world. Of course, it is possible that the Soviet Union has decided that this is not the time for an all-out war. And Dr. Vannevar Bush's statement that we still have the power with our atom bombs to destroy Russia may certainly help to make Russia stop and think. But we must not expect that the Soviets will not continue to do all they can against us, short of war, and this atomic power leadership may not last forever. We must build up our allies and friends in the world and strengthen every nation that is not already communized.
That is why giving wheat to the Indian people is for the general welfare of the United States. And there are going to be many more things in the economic and social field that may mean the expenditure of the taxpayers' money without immediate return, but which, in the end, will mean the difference between the power to preserve the peace or the destruction of our land in a war.
The announcement the other day of the success of the World Health Organization in eliminating malaria in certain parts of Asia was one more example showing that working through the United Nations we can build peace. The WHO reported that already the people were working better and the economic situation of the areas was improving.
(WORLD COPYRIGHT, 1951, BY UNITED FEATURE SYNDICATE, INC. REPRODUCTION IN WHOLE OR IN PART PROHIBITED.)
Names and Terms Mentioned or Referenced
- [ index ] New York (N.Y., United States)
About this document
My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt, March 8, 1951
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)
- Regenhardt, Christy (Associate Editor)
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- Binker, Mary Jo (Associate Editor)
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