OCTOBER 15, 1941
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I feel very content today because we have spent the whole day meeting with the regional directors who work in the nine corps areas to establish the program for civilian defense. I think, for the first time, that these gentlemen, to say nothing of us in the office here, are getting procedures clarified and understanding the work we have to do and the way in which we have to do it.
This afternoon we all met the regional directors of the Federal Security Agency and cleared our method of cooperation. This was another long step forward.
Of course, we work with many other groups, both public and private. But the programs carried on by the Federal Security Agency, which are long range programs, are in themselves part of civilian defense. Without real cooperation between the Office of Civilian Defense and the office of the Administrator of Federal Security, it would be practically impossible to set up for our volunteers work of permanent value in making this country stronger now and in the future.
Last night, Dr. John Studebaker and Dr. Ambrose Caliver, and several of their assistants, brought over the transcription of their radio program, "Freedom's People." The Secretary of the Treasury and Mrs. Morgenthau, and Lord and Lady Mountbatten were with us. We all sat and listened with great pleasure to this program, which will be followed by others, all of which I hope will be equally interesting and well carried out.
These programs should bring before the whole people, the contribution of the Negro race to this country. I think that many of the Negro people will be surprised to find what a rich cultural heritage is theirs.
After we listened to this program, Lord Mountbatten brought in the records of two songs by Noel Coward, which have been a great success in London lately. One is called "London Pride," and is charming. The other has to be approached with a sense of humor. It was written to stimulate the British Government to give proper consideration and equipment to the Home Guard. It is fairly satirical, but they tell me it achieved its object and the Home Guard got the guns it wanted!
I have just had the pleasure of receiving the Minister of the Dominican Republic and Senora de Troncoso, who arrived here scarcely a week ago with their four children. They speak English well and their children are already started in school. I always marvel at the adaptability required of the children of diplomats, and the wonderful way in which they make new friends and succeed in being at home in no time at all.