JANUARY 24, 1942
WASHINGTON, Friday—Yesterday afternoon, Dr. Paul R. Jacobsen, the Director of the Colgate University Study Group, brought his ten honor juniors to tea with me, since their period of study here is ending. This year's program has been revised to give attention simultaneously to public administration and political control, especially as related to national defense.
I always enjoy this group. They come, of course, largely from the Northeastern States, but I imagine their backgrounds are as varied as those of any other group of young people. As I looked at their faces yesterday, I realized that, in all probability, their interests were as varied. They all had had a stimulating experience here and that is what we want all young people to have in the capital of their country, it should be a stirring place.
We had another thrilling newsreel last night for some guests. I can recommend the movie: "The Corsican Brothers," if you want to forget what is going on around you for a little while. Everyone listened and watched breathlessly until the very end.
The Office of Civilian Defense has called a small labor conference today, through its labor advisory committee. The conference consists of ten representatives from the American Federation of Labor, the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the Railroad Brotherhoods. I found our session this morning extremely interesting and very stimulating.
It was valuable in that it gave to all the officials and staff of the Office of Civilian Defense, suggestions of what might be accomplished, and information on conditions which exist in the field of labor participation in civilian defense.
I hope that, out of this, may come a great deal more knowledge of the standards of living and actual conditions which arise as a result of changes brought about by defense needs. On this level, I think we need to attempt to collect the knowledge which exists in the field of management, as represented by war production, and the labor interests in the government and industry. By joint action, we may be able to forestall situations which are now causing great hardship.
I could not help thinking, as we all met in the State Dining Room at the White House, that Lincoln's portrait looking down upon us, was a good symbol of the unity which will exist, not only in the ranks of labor itself, but in the ranks of employer and employee. If unity is important for a nation, we must realize that it can not really exist unless we can bring about unity between the groups which make up that nation.