NOVEMBER 29, 1941
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday was a fairly busy day at the Office of Civilian Defense, and in the evening I presided over a debate. The meeting was called by the alumnae groups of ten women's colleges having branches in Washington. They conceived it as their contribution to defense, feeling that among their members, leaders of forums and public discussions, could be found. At the present time, such public discussion is necessary to civilian defense.
The speaker last night was Professor W. Y. Elliott, who spoke on national defense "Policy and Performance." It was an extremely interesting speech and was followed by a discussion carried on by Senator Pepper of Florida, Congressman John M. Vorys of Ohio, and Congressman Hatton Sumners of Texas, Miss Eloise Davison of OCD and Mr. Elliott.
I do not suppose a presiding officer should ever ask questions unless there is a lull in the discussion, but I did because I was really anxious to know the answers. It seemed to be a very interesting evening for everyone present.
I have just read a novel called "Conceived in Liberty" by Howard Fast. I could not help thinking all through the evening how very applicable to many of the subjects we were discussing was this tale of the winter at Valley Forge and the efforts of the men there to clarify in their own minds why they were fighting. Some of our discussions today seemed to stare at me from the pages of the book.
This morning, the organizations met to consider the choice of women to go from here to England, and agreed upon the basis on which their choices should be made. Many of them have to go back to their boards to get authorization to send a representative and to pay their expenses. They must also plan for such travel on their return as seems necessary to spread the picture of what they have seen, before as wide a group as possible.
The New York Women's Trade Union League is going to have Miss Dorothy Maynor this year as guest singer for the annual benefit on December 3rd. They give this for the support of their club house and their activities among industrial workers. When I heard her sing last year, I thought she was different but just as gifted in her way as Marian Anderson. I am happy this concert will give so many people an opportunity to enjoy her beautiful voice.
The International Student Service has its first conference of students here today, and I am going to attend the first session. They have very interesting speakers, who ought to prove valuable to every economics student attending.