JANUARY 14, 1942
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—It is fortunate that some of us can smilingly take stories in the newspapers, which would have no particular point, unless to make trouble between government officials. It is also amusing to note statements carried with great prominence, which either have no truth at all, or which are misinterpretations; while the corrections are carried as inconspicuously as possible.
Long ago, I made up my mind that, when things were said involving only me, I would pay no attention to them, except when valid criticism was carried by which I could profit. However, when such stories concern someone else, the situation changes.
In a news story, carried in a Washington paper yesterday, it was said that I had "lambasted" a certain official. He happens to know exactly what I said, because I said it to him and said it about a situation which I brought to Mr. Knudsen and Mr. Hillman's attention, and of which they were already cognizant.
It was one which, in all probability, will be repeated in many parts of the country because, as industries have to change from peacetime to wartime production, there is bound to be considerable temporary unemployment. This creates hardship and uncertainty and is very bad for civilian morale.
I am concerned with civilian morale, as is every other citizen of the United States. I feel that a pattern for meeting this situation must be developed, and that none of us, whether we are government officials or private individuals, can afford to sit back and wait for the development of these problems without feeling the urgency that a group of hungry children in our homes would put upon us.
I said all this to Mr. Knudsen and Mr. Hillman in somewhat forceful terms, but without any criticism of them, only because I felt the situation must be put before them, since they could help to develop the proper solution. I cited this situation to a group of 4-H Club people as an example of the type of thing for which we must watch.
I said that, to some of us, hunger was more academic than real, but that we must try to devlop the ability to feel the urgency of such a situation. I said nothing derogatory about anyone, and nothing which I would not apply to myself.
I can only surmise that it gives certain people joy to think that they can create ill-feeling between people working for the same ends, even if on different programs.