Five Little Democracies
POUGHKEEPSIE, NEW YORK
[ November 15, 1940]
I WISH tonight to present to the American people the plight of some millions of children, women, and men in the little nations of Finland, Norway, Holland, Belgium and Central Poland. I am not making any proposals as to the French, although they are indeed suffering, because of the present obscurity of their food and political situation. And let me emphasize again that I am not talking about feeding Europe as the headlines so often state. I am talking only of the five small democracies.
I am asking for no gifts, no government appropriations, no use of American ships. I am not going to discuss ideologies or who is to blame. I simply wish to present the case of these people to America. I will suggest that their lives and infinite suffering can be saved. And I will suggest that we have a moral responsibility.
I have postponed discussing this question at length for the past two months because I did not wish so tender and difficult a subject to be stained with any color of partisanship. That election is behind us and my obligation to participate further in partisan questions is ended. It is a problem that calls for cooperation and not for controversy.
Tonight I wish particularly to lay this question before the educational and religious leaders of the United States, for upon them rests a heavy duty in American moral leadership.
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Publication information: Book title: Addresses upon the American Road:1940-1941. Contributors: Herbert Hoover - Author. Publisher: C. Scribner's Sons. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1941. Page number: 121.
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