SEPTEMBER 21, 1940
NEW YORK, Friday—I started my morning yesterday by receiving a delegation from the Joint Committee for Trade Union Rights. I always feel that when people want to see me, if it is possible, I should see them. However, I confess to a feeling of futility when the subject under discussion is something about which I know absolutely nothing.
There followed a long meeting of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. Mr. Eric Biddle is still in London and his efforts to see people and talk over questions of transportation for children must be somewhat impeded by the conditions now existing in that city.
I hope he will be back before long and able to tell the Committee how many children we should really plan to care for in the next month or so. Beyond that I do not think any of us can hope to see into the future.
We had a short but pleasant luncheon at the Biltmore Hotel yesterday. Mrs. Henry Morgenthau, Jr., Miss Mary Dewson, Mrs. Henry Leach, all of whom are working at Democratic Headquarters, and Miss Fannie Hurst and Mrs. Grenville Emmet, who are anxious to be at work, were there.
Two charming young girls greeted me as they were going out laden with literature. They remarked that they were Republicans for Roosevelt, and had come in to find out how they could be useful.
Late in the afternoon, I took the train with my cousin, Mr. Henry Parish, for Orange, New Jersey. We drove into the quiet and peace of Llewellyn Park and I felt as though I was stepping into a diferent world. None of the turmoil of New York City streets, or the crowds of the tube in which I had travelled, none of the excitement and tension of the groups of people which I have been seeing.
Here, in my cousin's home, there is quiet and decorous living. Life moves along settled paths and there is a charm about it which does not come my way so often these days. I am always happy to spend a little time with Mr. and Mrs. Parish, but it makes me reluctant to plunge into the maelstromagain early this morning.
I came to the city with Mr. Parish and am taking the 11:00 o'clock train to Philadelphia, where I shall meet the President, who is coming up from Washington to inspect some defenses and receive, this afternoon, a degree from the University of Pennsylvania.
It is incredible to look at the pictures in the papers which show the destruction going on in London. Because of the long defense of Madrid, we all know that people can stand up under such terrific bombardment, but I cannot help wondering what it will do to us all in the future. I believe that it must have some effect on our nerves and general physical and mental condition.