OCTOBER 24, 1941
WASHINGTON, Thursday—I spent a good part of yesterday at a meeting called by Dr. Floyd Reeves of the National Resources Planning Board, which considered the problems involving youth now and in the future. Before taking the plane at 5:00 o'clock for New York City, I returned to the White House in time to see two or three people.
My daughter and son-in-law, are leaving today for the West, so we devoted last evening to being with each other. We went to a little restaurant on 63rd Street, which we often frequented when they were living in New York City. After a short, but very good dinner, we went to the theatre to see "The Wookey," by Mr. Frederick Hazlitt Brennan. It is amusing, dramatic, well acted and very moving.
To those of us who know the people of the East End in London, it brought all that has happened in the past few months vividly before our eyes. Mr. Wookey did not agree with his government. It was his right to criticize and to advise, and even to write to the Prime Minister. In spite of all his disagreement, however, when his people were really in danger, and his country was under attack, Mr. Wookey could put up with any amount of discomfort and go forth cheerfully to almost certain death on the docks. That is why some of us believe that Great Britain must come out victoriously in this war.
I love the scene where Mr. Wookey airs his views to a high ranking officer. A lump was in my throat when his home was destroyed and his wife was killed. Other people are brave, other people suffer in just the same way, but not even here do we have that sense of complete independence of expression and assurance that makes the British feel that they know how to run the affairs of the nation far better than those who are in charge. That is a British trait. It must be exasperating to elected and administrative officials, but, at bottom, it may be a great strength.
My young people put me on the night train, and this morning I arrived at the Labor Department a little before nine. I attended a comparatively small meeting of adults and young people, who represented the interests of youth and discussed participation in the civilian defense program.
I wonder how many of my readers are familiar with a bill which is now in Congress, H.R. 5510, that requires private employment offices to pay an annual registration fee and to file with the Secretary of Labor, information about their ownership, operations and income. Because of the defense effort, this bill is important to employees and employers at this time. Some private agencies have indulged in reprehensible practices. This bill will protect the good agencies and make it difficult for the others to feather their nests at the expense of employer and employee.