OCTOBER 16, 1940
SAN FRANCISCO, Tuesday—Yesterday, after writing my column in my son's office, I went back to his apartment to see a friend and have lunch. Early in the afternoon, Mrs. Melvyn Douglas took me out to attend a tea given by a large group of Democratic women. Later, my son called for me and we went together to see his friends, Mr. and Mrs. Maurice Benjamin.
It was James' night for drilling with his battalion of Marines, so I went and watched him from the gallery. I can't say that anything military has ever given me much pleasure, for I still hope that someday we will reach a state of civilization where we can find, as William James suggested so long ago, the "moral equivalent of war."
Since that time has not yet arrived, however, it seems to me that all of us must prefer to see the young people we care about receive the training which cannot fail to be of use to them in everyday life because of the value of discipline. In one way or another we must all be disciplined sometime, and it helps us in every occupation.
The training of our men is of value to the nation, for a trained man in case of war or any emergency, can render better service and protection to himself than if he were an inexperienced recruit. Two of the boys, James and Franklin, Jr., took courses in college and have had periods of training during the years since then. Since they are in the Reserves, they only know that when they are called, their service lasts for the duration of the emergency. It does make for a slight uncertainty as to the arrangements to be made in business and the normal activities of life, for the emergency may last for a few months, or it may last a few years.
I think, perhaps, a great many of the people who have been executives, are going to meet the greatest test of their ability as such. Now they must choose the right people to leave in charge and so organize that they, themselves, will be as little missed as possible. Not easy to do, but it can be done.
We were up early this morning, for I had to take the plane at 7:00 o'clock. I hope to have a glimpse of my friend Mrs. Edward McCauley of San Francisco, at the airport there and to file this column, since it might be too late at the next stop. In the early afternoon, I hope to arrive in Portland, Oregon, to spend a few hours with my friend, Mrs. Nan Wood Honeyman, who is running again this year for Congress. In the evening, I speak for the League of Women Voters and go on by plane to Seattle, if the weather continues to be kind.