SEPTEMBER 16, 1941
WASHINGTON, Monday—A conference this morning to talk with Miss Eloise Davison to talk over some of the things in connection with civilian volunteer participation in national defense. I am trying, as far as possible, to familiarize myself with the organization which now exists. I am studying its accomplishments and publications, so that when I do go to the office, I shall not find myself meeting people whose names I do not know and who are functioning in ways which I do not as yet understand.
I am very much interested in a pamphlet which has been compiled for the organizations which are dealing with the registration of volunteers. It is intended to aid in setting up volunteer registration centers. This seems to be a valuable step, but it will take some time to set them up so they function smoothly. Further organization is required along other lines before community participation can be complete.
I like Mayor LaGuardia's idea that registering people is comparatively useless, but enrolling them to do definite things is well worthwhile. Obviously, it accomplishes two things at once. It gives a card catalogue of people who may be called upon at any time, and actually places people in positions where they function in their communities.
I talked also this morning with Miss Jane Seaver, who is the youth member on the Committee of Forty-Five on Volunteer Participation. She has worked out a preliminary program for youth participation in the whole picture. Of course, when it comes down to localities; youth, middle age and old age, will all be merged in one group of volunteers working along the lines that, as individuals, they can work on best.
Age or sex will mean very little, but in the initiating or creating of interest, it will be necessary to present a program and opportunities which will be available for training and for service to every group of people through every avenue which can be found.
My press conference at 11:00 a. m., was very short since there are no social engagements at present and none scheduled in the near future, and I have little interest to tell them.
The joy of the day was to see Franklin, Jr., even for a few hours, and to find him looking well and enthusiastic as ever about his particular little job in what he thinks is the greatest service in the world, the Navy. It is amusing to hear our Army son do battle for the superiority of his branch of the service, as against the other three who think they must uphold theirs!