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Letter from Franklin D. Roosevelt to Roger B. Merriman, 15 February 1939

The White House
Washington     February 15, 1939.


Dear Roger :--

Many thanks for your note and that extremely
interesting excerpt from Trevelyan.

I wish the British would stop this "We who are
about to die, salute thee" attitude. Lord Lothian
was here the other day, started the conversation by
saying he had completely abandoned his former belief
that Hitler could be dealt with as a semi-reasonable
human being, and went on to say that the British for
a thousand years had been the guardians of Anglo-
Saxon civilization -- that the scepter of the sword
or something like that had dropped from their
palsied fingers -- that the U.S.A. must snatch
it up -- that F.D.R. alone could save the world --
etc., etc.

I got mad clear through and told him that
just so long as he or Britishers like him took that
attitude of complete despair, the British would not
be worth saving anyway.

What the British need today is a good stiff
grog, inducing not only the desire to save civil-
zation but the continued belief that they can do it.
In such an event they will have a lot more support
from their American cousins -- don't you think so?

As ever yours,
Franklin D Roosevelt


Professor Roger B. Merriman,
Master's Lodgings,
Eliot House,

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