NOVEMBER 7, 1941
NEW YORK, Thursday—Yesterday was a very pleasant day. I gave two lectures, one at the Town Hall in New York City in the morning and one in Elizabeth, N. J., in the evening. In between times, I lunched with my cousin, Mrs. Henry Parish, and did a little Christmas shopping and a number of personal things which I have not had time to do in Washington.
Today is going to be a busier day, but still I never have quite the same schedule when I am away from Washington. I go to Town Hall this morning at 11:00 o'clock, to repeat as nearly as possible the lecture I gave yesterday, but since I speak from notes, I never can give exactly the same talk.
Afterwards, I lunch with the Board of Trustees of the Town Hall, and the program sounds both varied and interesting. I am glad that my own part will take only ten minutes, for I shall be able to enjoy all the others. At 3:30, I am to be at the English-Speaking Union. I have belonged to that organization for many years, but I am not very familiar with the work they have been doing of late, so I am glad of the opportunity to talk with some of their officers.
I received a rather pathetic letter from a woman who runs one of the small speciality shops in New York City. She sells dresses and millinery, and I imagine such things as costume jewelry, bags and accessories of all kinds. She is worried for fear that a wave of economy will sweep over our people and that small business such as hers will be ruined.
She says they do not want charity, they want to earn a living, and they want to keep their people at work, many of whom have been with them for several years.
There are undoubtedly going to be economies practiced along many lines, but perhaps these small businesses, as well as bigger ones, will be able to find ways in which they can adapt themselves to the making of certain things needed in defense. They should apply at once to bureaus set up in Washington, under OPM, for the purpose of giving them advice and consideration.
Many of their employees may have to go into defense industries. If we go into high gear in defense production, there will undoubtedly be a shift in the type of employment which many people have, and a more general possibility of employment for people of middle age, as well as for young people without experience.
I hope that no one, for the present at least, will curtail their usual buying, except where it is necessary. The kind of economy which is undertaken because of a vague feeling of fear about the future, is bad psychology for us all.