December 30, 1936
BOSTON, Tuesday—The air is clear and cooler today, there is much more snap in it than we have had the past few days and I think it is more seasonable and probably healthier. My son, James, arrived yesterday from Washington and last night Ethel du Pont, he and I dined together.
The two young ones thought they might go to a movie but by the time we were finished with the various discussions which came up during dinner, such as the Child Labor Amendment; the stand of the National Woman's Party opposed to that of protection of women in industry; standards of ethics as they are today versus those of twenty years ago in business and in politics and some candid criticisms of each other, even their ardor for further excitement was dampened and they decided bed was more appropriate than the movies.
I am still way behind on my Christmas notes and so many people here have been kind to me that I feel I will never be able to adequately express my thanks in writing. The most delightful thing of all is that for the remainder of our stay we have moved into the most delightfully comfortable house. Our host, Mr. Edward Filene, left last night and insisted that we take possession. So I am writing this in a room one side of which is practically a window overlooking the River Charles. An open fire makes a cheerful gathering spot. One other wall is lined with books and many familiar faces look down upon me from the walls, many of them photographs of men whom I am accustomed to see hanging on some of our own walls.
I imagine everybody is as interested as I was in the newspaper accounts this morning of the loop hole in our neutrality law which allows airplanes to be shipped in Spain. It only shows how difficult it is to frame any law which will really accomplish the intent of the framers without frequent revisions. It is so easy to overlook some provisions and they make it possible to evade the spirit of the law even though the legality may be questioned.
When people complain to me as they frequently do that laws such as the social Security Act are faulty in certain points, I wonder why they expect them to be anything else for in the case of legislation dealing with entirely new objectives the methods chosen are quite probable to prove faulty when actually in operation. It is one of the cases where one must learn as one goes along and use the experience one acquires to constantly improve on what must be begun purely on theory.
I have just been hearing an account of the children's party held yesterday at the White House and I am sorry indeed that I had to miss it for they all seem to have had such a good time, but I am very grateful that my two daughters-in-law are taking over so many of my White House social activities. I think the guests at today's tea will probably have as good a time because of the novelty in hostesses as the children had yesterday.
Franklin, junior, continues to progress and I hope by the end of the week to start for Washington.