MARCH 20, 1941
WASHINGTON, Wednesday —I hope those who came to dine with me last night in the interest of the Young Men's Vocational Foundation, Inc., found the evening worthwhile. The stories which were told by the various speakers, seemed to give a very good idea of why we should be interested in lending a helping hand to boys who come out of our training schools, and even out of our reformatories.
Beyond that, everything that was said seemed to emphasize the importance of knowing conditions under which the youth of our country are growing to maturity in our communities. We must try to see that no economic and community conditions are so bad that they inevitably create problem boys and girls.
There are strange things happening in this country. I was reading a digest of the news the other day, and was amused to see a grouping of papers that have had similar slants on various questions lately. In the group were "The Chicago Tribune," "The Daily Worker," "Social Justice," "The Tablet," "The Liberator" and "The Vindicator."
All these publications of late have been harping on the beauties of peace and the necessity of saving our Republic for ourselves. Some of them pin our danger on the international bankers, some of them on the present Administration, but in the main all of them harp on the same line. What a queer combination of bedfellows in the journalistic world this makes!
Sometimes I think a few people are becoming a trifle hysterical. To bear this out, I shall quote here a few lines from a letter which I have just received from a lady. There is nothing peculiar about this letter. The writer just assails the President and the present Administration and, incidentally, me, for starving the little children of the democracies of Europe. It demands a negotiated peace with Hitler and says it is no more possible to restore the conquered nations in Europe to their freedom than it would be to restore to England her original Thirteen Colonies.
She assures me that she is of British descent, with Huguenot blood running in her veins, that she is a Colonial Dame, and a member of the Order of the Descendants of Colonial Governors. She even dares to identify herself further as having four Colonial Governors of Carolina on her badge.
All this to prove that she is no Nazi-lover, but for America first and that she does not wish to police the world. She ends with her personal, not very flattering, appraisal of the President.
Nothing in this letter, of course, is very odd. Just from my point of view, it is untrue. There is no reason in the world, however, why she should not express her opinions, no reason why she should not write the letter and no one would question her right to do so. But here comes the hysterical line: "I dare not sign my name for fear of a concentration camp." I haven't yet heard of any, have you?