DECEMBER 6, 1941
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday evening, in New York City, at 8:30, I went to America's Town Meeting of the Air. I enjoyed the program very much. As so often happens, I felt that many sides of the problem of health could not be covered, even in as long a period as we had on the air.
One thing I felt needed emphasis, namely, that the workers themselves, through their labor union organizations, are doing a great many things to improve their health. It seems to me that the employer has an obligation to use every safety device possible to prevent accidents and has an obligation to initiate other programs, with the idea of social welfare always in the background and the realization that health is a stepping stone to all real welfare and security.
But the employees also have a responsibility for plans and programs which they can work out themselves, or in cooperation with the employer. I think a shining example of this is Mr. David Dubinsky's International Ladies Garment Workers Union, which has worked out programs for both health and recreation. They are valuable mentally and spiritually, as well as physically.
In New York City, yesterday, I happened to meet an old friend, Mr. Charles Pettijohn. I had not seen him since he brought the movie stars to lunch with us for the President's Birthday Party last year. I was grieved to learn that he had been in the hospital, but he certainly looks well now, and no one would suspect that he had had an illness.
Meeting him reminded me that a friend has suggested to me that the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences might extend its consideration for awards, which are usually given to producers, actors, writers and directors. They might recognize the fact that, for a quarter of a century, Mr. Pettijohn has been preaching all over this country freedom of expression and, therefore, freedom of production for the stage and screen.
He has, however, emphasized as well, that all freedom brings responsibility. That if the stage and screen are not to be censored, then they must not abuse the privilege and must use their mediums for better education and for a general raising of standards as to artistic and moral values.
I do not know whether the Academy considers service of this kind within the realm of its awards, but I want to pay here my tribute to Mr. Pettijohn for his cooperation, year after year, in the interests of the Infantile Paralysis Campaign.