91. "Why don't the French use stronger methods to stop the black market?"

     The French people ask that question every day.

     It is not our job to appraise the energy or the methods of the French government. It is not in place for Americans to tell the French how to run their affairs. This much, however, can be said: France is pulling herself up by the bootstraps. It's very easy to stand to one side and say, "Pull harder. It's a cinch. Just pull harder."

     France is still "punch-drunk", uncertain, demoralized from the war and the effects of the war. It is hard for us to realize the appalling toll which the war took from France. It is hard for us to realize how profoundly the entire economic and political structure of France has been shaken by the events from 1940-1945.

     France is tired, hungry, discouraged, poor, weak. The French saw their country defeated. They saw some of their leaders and heroes sell them down the river. They hate all this more than we do. They have to live with it. No Frenchman will deny the mistakes France has made, the blows France has suffered, the long and difficult road that France must now take. But the way in which France will recover, the way in which the French will meet problems as grave and difficult as any she has ever known, is something which the French people, acting democratically, will decide for themselves.

     If there is a moral for the world in all this, it is: don't ever let the Germans or any other Fascist power beat you.

     If there is a lesson for Americans, it is: we don't kick a friend when he's down - especially when he was knocked down by our enemy.