ADDRESS OF THE PRESIDENT TO THE STATE FOOD ADMINISTRATORS
THE WHITE HOUSE.
I am very glad, Mr. Hoover, to meet these gentlemen. It is a pleasure to have a chance to take their hands and say how sincerely we are obliged to them for the work they have done, because, gentlemen, I think one of the benefits of this war – for some benefits have come out of it – is that we have learned a new kind of cooperation and fellowship and a new view of national interests and a way to promote them by cooperation. We knew each other better than we used to. We know how to cooperate and we know what there is to cooperate in, which was not always the case.
Mr. Hoover has just said, or intimated, that this is the end of your function, but I am not so sure that it is. I am not so sure that we won't continue for some time to come to need your advice and cooperation., because the world has to be revictualed, as you know better than I do, and not all the aspects and problems of that revictualing are revealed. I would not like to promise you that we can let you off, and I would not like to feel that we might not still have your advice and active assistance in solving these problems. For war is a definite problem which can be learned, though you may not at the outset have wished to learn it, but peace is very much more complicated than war, and the problmes of peace are very much more variegated than the problems of war. I feel for my part that we are standing at the threshold of a period which has yet to disclose the variety of work which it is going to impose upon us, and it is going to impose much of it upon us because we came out of this war the freest nation that has been engaged. I am not now speaking of political freedom, but the freest to help, the freest to advise and back up our advice with assistance. And if fills me with enthusiasm when I think of the result of being a friend to the world. It will result in giving America the greatest influence that any one nation has ever had, and I for one am so sure of the ideals and standards of thoughtful men in America that I am proud to believe that that assistance will be beneficial to the world, and that they will like us better for what they have got from us. It is a fine thing to be looked to by all the world to do disinterested things, and I am sure that you feel, as I do, that we must be very careful that what we do is disinterested.
I am very much obliged to you, gentlemen, for the compliment of this call and the privilege of saying to you how much I appreciate what you have done.