JULY 27, 1940
HYDE PARK, Friday—I drove up from New York City last night with Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., and spent the night with her in Fishkill. We had a very pleasant, happy morning together. There is no lovelier view than the one from her porch, and a swim in her pool is always delightful.
After lunch I came back to Hyde Park to find a peaceful and very much reduced household. But I never find that we are long without guests and I am always happy to see my friends here.
My mother-in-law is back from Fairhaven, and I wish for her sake that it was cooler, for she needs rest after the ordeal which she has been through.
The Rev. Bernard Iddings Bell has sent me an article which he wrote called: "What Shall The Church Say To America?" published in "The Living Church" on July 24th. There is a paragraph in it which I think we should all keep in our minds these days:
"We Americans, in common with other nations, whose governments were founded on a 'liberal' or 'democratic' basis, have dangerously forgotten the fact that liberty consists not merely in freedom from certain restraints, but also, and more important, in freedom for the attainment of certain ends."
A letter has come to me with an appeal which is really touching. It is from a young doctor in New York City. He tells the tale of spending ten years in the study of medicine. He counts the cost of those years plus the $1800 a year job which he gave up in order to become a doctor, as an investment of $25,000. Fifteen years after finishing school he is still doing daily a great deal of charity work, which he has been doing for twelve years.
He is on the staff of a teaching institution and treats as many as twenty people a day in the clinics and in the wards. He is married and has three children under ten years of age. In spite of the charity work, for which he receives no remuneration, his private patients are very few.
He says he sees people going into clinics whom he knows could well afford to pay for a private doctor. He feels that much which has been done to make it possible for the very poor to obtain medical attention has militated against the possibility of earning a living as a doctor in private practice. He feels, also, that so much has been said about doctors being commercial and high priced that people will not trust them and, in addition, "influence" enters into the success of some men.
Of course, there are a great many factors which enter into this difficult situation. I tell you this tale to point your thoughts to a problem which is two-sided. Many people are without medical care. Many doctors cannot earn a living. Something is wrong in the setup.