APRIL 9, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—An interesting letter came to me the other day. I have known the writer, Dame Rachel Crowdy, for some time; in fact, ever since the last World War. This letter is written on paper which bears the address, "Ministry of Information, Malet Street, London." I think, perhaps, you would be interested in it, so I want to share parts of it with you.
"Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,
"I have intended for nearly two years to write to you and to send you photographs I took of the delightful school in Puerto Rico. I saw it when our West Indian Commission landed there in order to see how the United States was coping with some of the Caribbean problems that are common to us all. The children of the school were most excited when they heard that you and I knew each other. At the moment, alas, in the confusion of the present day, I can not put my hands on the photographs, but I shall send them as soon as I find them.
"I have an interesting job with the Government. It consists in being a kind of ambassador for the Ministry to the regional organizations, explaining ministerial policy to them and trying to bring their local needs to the attention of the people here. As a side line, I look out for wartime hardships, which have a remedy, among the people and take them up with the ministries concerned. I have been doing this now for the last fifteen months and find it very worthwhile, though rather tiring sometimes, travelling so much in hard winter weather.
"Lately, they have been sending me to the blitzed cities in order that the unbombed regions may profit by the experience of those that have been badly bombed. It is tragic work but it has a humorous side to it. The other day, in one of our worst cities, I noticed that the big cinema (movies) had been entirely destroyed except for the metal canopy, on which the announcement of the film to come is always posted. I went up and looked at it at close range and saw the white lettering spelled, 'Watch For Reopening Date!' Talking to one old man, a self-made timber merchant, who had lost 20,000 pounds worth of property in a night he finished up with his account of the losses to me by saying: 'But what a wonderful chance for this city to widen its streets!' "
I shall have to cut the letter off here and begin again tomorrow. There is much more that I think will interest you, but my space does not allow me to give it to you all at one time.