“This is my report to the American people upon the world famine situation. Three weeks ago I broadcasted from Cairo our report upon the situation in Europe. Since then we have examined the food problems in Egypt, Iraq, India, Siam, the Philippines, China, Korea and Japan, thus compassing most of Asia.
“I can therefore now consolidate our findings in twenty-five countries which we visited and upon several more which we have received competent information.
“At the request of President Truman I have acted as a sort of Food Ambassador to determine needs; to discover possible further sources of supplies; and to coordinate the world's effort to master this danger to the lives of millions. Beyond this, it has been my duty to represent the solicitude of the American people and their desire to aid.
“Along the 35,000 miles we have traveled, I have seen with my own eyes the grimmest spectre of famine in all the history of the world.
“Of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the one named War has gone -- at least for a while. But Famine, Pestilence and Death are still charging over the earth. And the modern world has added four more to this evil brigade. Their names are Destruction, Drought, Fear and Revolution. This crisis is not alone due to war destruction of agriculture. On the top of that calamity has been piled drought in the Mediterranean, drought in India, drought in China and partial drought in South Africa and Argentine. Never have so many evil Horsemen come all at one time.
“Hunger hangs over the homes of more than 800,000,000 people -- over one-third of the people of the earth. Hunger is a silent visitor who comes like a shadow. He sits beside every anxious mother three times each day. He brings not alone suffering and sorrow, but fear and terror. He carries disorder and the paralysis of government, and even its downfall. He is more destructive than armies, not only in human life but in morals. All of the values of right living melt before his invasions, and every gain of civilization crumbles. But we can save these people from the worst, if we will . . .”
--Former President Herbert Hoover; excerpt from his May 17, 1946 speech reporting the results of his post-war world famine survey, undertaken at the request of President Harry Truman. (Note the bipartisan nature of this arrangement.)
The entire speech (it's long by today's standards, but engaging nonetheless) can be read and viewed here: