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International Relations

Nature volume 143, page 672 (22 April 1939) | Download Citation



IN a speech on April 14 to the board of the Pan-American Union, President Roosevelt emphasized the fact that the people of the Americas can no longer consider the Atlantic as a barrier shutting them off from affairs in Europe. The rapidity and efficiency of modern communications make the world, East and West, a vast unity, no part of which can be disorganized without dire results for the whole. Mr. Roosevelt followed up this address with a message, which will surely go down in history as one of the most remarkable and far-reaching documents of our time, addressed to the heads of the German and Italian Governments. After referring to recent events in Europe, Africa and the Far East, and to the anxiety and tension plainly evident throughout the world, Mr. Roosevelt continued, “Nothing has persuaded the peoples of the earth that any governing Power has any right or need to inflict the consequences of war on its own or any other people save in the cause of self-evident home defence. … It is still clear to me that international problems can be solved at the council table. It is therefore no answer to the plea for peaceful discussion for one side to plead that unless they receive assurances beforehand that the verdict will be theirs, they will not lay aside their arms”.

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