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                       June 5, 1944.                        
If in regard to Basic English we get the views of "competent 
      Government specialists", we shall certainly sound the death 
      knell of Basic English or anything like it. I never knew of any 
      group of such people to agree to anything really different from 
     the existing system -- or, for that matter, anything ne
      Honestly, I do not want either to kill the idea or pour icy water 
      on it. The reason is that Basic English has tremendous merit 
      in it. The reason is that for practical purposes it is relatively 
      easy for non-English speaking peoples to pick up a sufficient 
              vocabulary to carry on a conversation.        
      For instance, if you and Molotov and Eden had had basic English 
      and if Stalin, Chiang Kai-shake and I had had Basic English, 
      our conferences would have been infinitely easier and far less 
      tiring than having everything go through interpreters.
      Secondly, Basic English is extremely easy for English speaking 
      peoples and would soon take the place of French as the so-called 
      "language of diplomacy". You or I could learn it in 
                        our spare moments.                  
      I wish you would pursue the check up with the congressional people 
      first of all. It might be possible for a sympathetic Congressional 
      committee (emphasis on the "sympathetic") to take the 
      matter up with an English committee and see if we can arrive 
      at a complete meeting of the minds that would cover the whole 
                     English speaking world.                
      If this could be done, I really believe that the other nations 
                     would go along with us.                
      F. D. R. 
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