My Day by Eleanor Roosevelt

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NEW YORK, Wednesday —Now that it is in the papers, that our guests over the weekend were Her Majesty, the Queen of the Netherlands, her daughter, two grandchildren and various members of their household, I want to tell you one or two things about Queen Wilhelmina which I think may be of interest.

While she sat on the grass near the swimming pool with me, watching her two little granddaughters, the Queen talked about some of the things she is thinking over in relation to the future. She said that she made it a point to see every person who came out of Holland, particularly the young boys. They told her what they had been through and what they were thinking about the future, and that these things helped her to have a vision of what will need to be done in her country and in the postwar world.

She overheard me, for instance, talking to the President about the need for some sort of character loan which could be made to people without any security except their reputation. These loans, of course, are only to be made to people who have had some misfortune; such as unusual illness which has brought about a state of indebtedness, or where a little money is needed to invest in future security.

"That," the Queen told us: "is done by state banks in Holland. It was one of my brain children after the last war." Again she told me: "My mother started the tuberculosis prevention work in Holland and I have remained the head of it and, therefore, know the details of that work. I am thinking now of the new measures which will have to be taken to meet new conditions of disease which will undoubtedly arise out of the present war." One senses a deep concern and constant anxiety over what is happening to the people of her country.

Perhaps you would like me to tell you, too, something which impressed me greatly in the education of the two little girls. At breakfast with their mother, Princess Juliana, and their governess, Miss Feith, both children ate with no assistance. When they were through, the older one climbed down from her chair and helped the younger one down from hers. Then she untied her bib and the younger one proceeded to turn around and untie the older one's bib. It was a little ceremony indicative of real training, both in thoughtfulness and independence.

In the Navy release this morning on the Midway battle, I think we begin to see that the United States took the offensive and, in doing so, was cleverer than her opponent. We also see that we have to grieve for the loss of many young lives. That our men, though conditioned to peace, are as brave and as well disciplined as any men anywhere in the world. My heart aches for those, however, who must read this account of the glory of a nation, with the weight of heavy personal loss on their hearts.

E. R.
TMs, AERP, FDRL