My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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WASHINGTON, Monday—There were a number of guests for luncheon yesterday. After it, Mrs. Helm, Miss Thompson and I started for New York City. Before we went over to the broadcasting station, several young men came to see me.

Mrs. Morgenthau joined us at dinner at the New York house. She and I flew down to Washington, while Mrs. Helm and Miss Thompson drove back to Hyde Park.

A staff meeting this morning, a press conference and other appointments are keeping me busy until I leave again at 3:00 o'clock by plane for New York City. I shall drive straight to Hyde Park, so as to be there for dinner tonight. In the meantime, fortunately, Princess Juliana has friends in Millbrook, N. Y., so today they have spent most of the time over there.

I had some quite appalling news on the rise in the cost of living last week. The average housewife must now spend 14 percent more money for the food she will need for the family dinner than she did a year ago. In some cities, the increase in food costs is even greater, running to over 19 percent. If you were preparing a meal of ham and eggs, potatoes, white bread, butter, coffee and milk, the following prices show you what you would pay this year in comparison with last year:

1940 1941 Increase Percent
Ham (lb) 25.4 cents 34.4 cents 35
eggs (doz) 37.2 46.9 26
white bread (lb) 8.1 8.5 5
butter (lb) 34.3 43.5 27
potatoes (15 lb) 28.8 32.8 14
coffee (lb) 20.8 25.7 24
milk (qt) 12.3 13.9 13

In other staple products, the prices have gone up very considerably also. For instance, here is a table which may interest you.

Sept.
1940
Sept.
1941
Increase
Percent
Sugar 10 lbs 51.0 60.0 18
Flour (10 lbs) 40.1 47.5 18
Lard (lb) 9.3 14.6 57
Evap.Milk(14½ oz can) 7.0 8.4 20
Cheese lb. 25.7 32.7 27
Onions lb 3.6 4.2 17
Salmon, red (16 oz. can) 25.9 33.7 30
Corn (#2 can) 10.5 11.8 12

The greater part of these increases occurred since last February, and in October of this year prices were still rising. Some of these prices should undoubtedly have increased, particularly if the increase reflects itself in the farmer's pocket. I am wondering, however, if, in the case of milk, we will not have to resort to less handling, in order to keep the price on a level where children in cities can have enough.

E.R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL