JANUARY 22, 1940
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Yesterday morning I attended the closing session of the conference on "Children In A Democracy," and we heard the final report and recommendations for action given by Mrs. Dunbar, President of the Federation of Women's Clubs. The group attending these conferences is an important and representative group. The fact there is a government department like the Children's Bureau, which can give leadership, ensures continued progress during the next ten years.
A number of people are staying in the house. It was a great pleasure to have Miss Vandy Cape in for luncheon Saturday on her way through Florida. She brought me a bag made by a Czechoslovakian refugee and told me of the struggle he was making, not only to support himself, but through his skill to give work to others, both refugees and unemployed Americans.
Artists are proverbially generous people and the legitimate theatre in New York City under Helen Hayes's chairmanship, is making a great effort through benefit preformances, to add to the Finnish Relief Fund. She, herself, will give a performance of "Ladies And Gentlemen" in Boston on January 28th. Gertrude Lawrence will give one in "Skylark," on January 29th in New York City, and this performance will be attended by many notables. Paul Muni, Tallulah Bankhead, Katharine Hepburn, Eddie Dowling, Katharine Cornell, Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne, S. Hurok and the company of "Pins And Needles" will all donate their services for performances. Alfred Lunt and Lynn Fontanne have agreed to give an entire week of benefit performances.
The rest of us can do little but go and enjoy ourselves. I hope we will go in great numbers wherever these performances are given, for I think the people of America can not help but have an admiration for the Finns.
Yesterday afternoon, I had a meeting with the leaders of consumer organizations. There were government officials present and the people interested from the scientific point of view, as well as those interested because of their work among people who very greatly need consumer information. Miss Helen Hall, who is chairman of the Consumers' National Federation and head of the Henry Street Settlement in New York City, arranged the meeting.
I was very grateful for the opportunity to learn more about the three main objectives of these organizations. They are: more useful information on labels, in advertising and in salesmanship; more facts about the quality of goods, their prices and the conditions under which they are made; and representation of consumers at council tables of business and government where decisions are being made affecting the goods and services coming to the market.