JUNE 30, 1942
NEW YORK, Monday—I found some friends staying in the house when I reached Washington on Saturday, and two of them even joined me at a very early breakfast Sunday morning before I went off to Richmond, Va., by train. Because of some difficulty with a pipe, we were three-quarters of an hour late in leaving Washington, and by the time we reached Richmond, we were one-hour-and-a-half late.
I knew that Governor Darden and some of the officers of the Veterans of Foreign Wars were planning to meet me. Luckily, they had discovered how late the train was and all we had to do was to hurry through lunch. We reached the hall on time and I was sorry I was not able to stay for the whole meeting.
The Governor took me on the afternoon plane, so we had an opportunity to talk for a little while. I was impressed by his sincerity and interest in a number of questions which are very important to his own state and to all Southern states today.
He would like to see his state do on a state scale what the Farm Security Administration does on a national scale, in making more productive the poorer farms of the state. If every state would do that, we would cease having soil erosion. We would soon have more intelligent farming which would improve the land for the future and produce more for people to eat and to market at the present time.
I think you will all be interested in a quotation from a letter which has just reached me. Lady Reading, who heads the Women's Voluntary Services in England, writes:
"I have just come back from Northern Ireland, where I met a great number of your people and visited some of your camps. I was immensely struck by the extremely nice type of boy and the freshness of his outlook as well as the sincerity of his beliefs. I do hope they can be mediumly happy on this side of the Atlantic, and that we shall not fail in according to them the measure of welcome we wish so earnestly to give them and that we are so characteristically tongue-tied in giving."
Lady Reading is a fine person and has done extraordinary work in organizing the British women. I hope that in every community which is near a camp where British boys are training as cadets in this country, our Women's Voluntary Services will take an interest in their welfare and make them feel at home and try to create a better understanding between them and our own boys.
There is no use thinking that because the British speak English we shall automatically be friends. We sometimes find their particular brand of English hard to understand and they look upon ours as equally odd. It takes just as much effort really to know each other as though they spoke Greek, and we civilians should make the effort.