Eleanor Roosevelt to Mary Ester R. Hill

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Mary Ester R. Hill

6 July 1947 [Hyde Park]

My dear Mrs. Hill:

I read your letter with interest and I am very glad to have an opportunity to write you.

Secretary Marshall's plan, I think, is a far bolder and broader plan than Mr. Wallace envisions, or than was the first Truman plan for aid to Greece and Turkey.

If this plan can be put through for the whole of Europe, it will start economic recovery which I think must come about before we can have political peace. It is true that Russia is at present holding aloof. It looks as though she would rather see the people perish than see them succeed under a system which is different from her own. I think it remains to be seen whether the nations of Europe are going to act on economic questions without Russia or with her. If she is wise, I think she will come in. She is afraid, and I think suspects that we will not act entirely altruistically. That suspicion does not surprise me greatly. On the other hand, we have none of the more serious evil intentions which she attributes to us, and that some day she will find it out.4

I have great trust in the United Nations and I feel sure that President Truman means to do the right things. His advisers sometimes lead him astray because he has to take their advice, not feeling always secure that he knows more than they do.

By and large, however, as I look at the behavior of the present Congress I think the Democratic Party as a whole, can be trusted to be more liberal and more sane both at home and abroad than the Republican Party and therefore I hope the country will continue to support the Democrats.

                                   Very sincerely yours,


1. ER to Dear Friend, 21 May 1947, AAUN, AERP.

2. For the Marshall Plan, see n6 Document 231. Wallace called for a ten-year, $50 billion aid program to Europe (including the Soviet Union) under the auspices of the UN (Mary Ester R. Hill to ER, 24 June 1947, AERP; Culver, 440).

3. ER wrote "Dictate" in the upper left margin of Hill's letter.

4. The Soviet Union rejected the financial assistance offered by the Marshall Plan, accusing the United States of seeking to interfere in the internal affairs of other countries and achieve economic domination of Europe under the guise of aiding European recovery. Accepting Marshall's proposal would have required disclosing information about resources and cooperating with the United States and Western Europe in the area of economic planning. On July 5, ER wrote, "the Marshall Plan is a bona fide offer to help Europe get back on its feet. Mr. Molotov, in refusing to join the rest of Europe, is creating the very thing he says he fears, which is division instead of cooperation" (Hogan, 51-53; Patterson, 131; "Statements by Molotov, Bevin and Bidault on European Aid Plan," NYT, 3 July 1947, 4; MD, 5 July 1947).

On Faith, Political Stewardship, and Racial Violence

Dorothy Tilly, an Atlanta Methodist whom Truman had appointed to his commission on civil rights, visited ER in Hyde Park in early summer.1 ER had known Tilly at least since July 1944, when ER spoke at the Missionary Conference of the Methodist Church at Lake Junaluska, North Carolina, where Tilly taught courses. After her visit to Hyde Park, Tilly wrote to thank ER, share some of her impressions of the visit, and report on the efforts she and others were making to combat racism and lynching in Georgia.2

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Mary Ester R. Hill

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Eleanor Roosevelt to Mary Ester R. Hill