NOVEMBER 20, 1942
WASHINGTON, Thursday—While I was gone, I received from the Chinese Embassy one of the most interesting gifts which has ever been sent to the President, a little box of tea which is over 200 years old! I didn't suppose tea could be any good which was kept for such a long time, but the Chinese Ambassador and Madame Wei tell me that this is exceptionally good, and my husband and I are looking forward to trying it with real excitement.
I wonder if every woman who returns from a long trip feels as I do, that until she has had her hair and nails done, she isn't completely normal. I spent an hour-and-a-half getting myself fixed up yesterday afternoon.
An old friend lunched with me and late in the afternoon I visited Mr. Norman Davis at the American Red Cross Headquarters to tell him what I could of the numerous Red Cross centers, which I had seen in Great Britain. I think that every American worker for the Red Cross in this country must have a great sense of pride when they realize what their contributions have meant to the people who have been blitzed in Great Britain, not only in warmth and practical assistance, but in the lifting of morale that something really attractive to wear will give when a woman's spirits are rather low. This, I think, goes for man and child as well.
With mobile canteens, ambulances, medical supplies, the Red Cross has greatly helped, as have all the other agencies and even individuals in this country. But the Red Cross contribution is the result of the work of so many people in the United States, that I think it truly represents to the people of Great Britain the heart of our people.
Of the work that the Red Cross is doing for the men, nurses and officers, wherever they may be in the world, I can, of course, only speak of what I saw in Great Britain. If having places filled with boys is any indication that you are providing them with something they need, then the Red Cross can be very well satisfied with the work which it has done. There are things which I am sure they hope to improve, but they and we can be proud of their accomplishments.
In the Red Cross Clubs, of course, the Army quite rightly insists that the men pay for their beds and food. However, the charge is very nominal, "two and six," which is about 43 cents for bed and breakfast, and twenty cents for a meal consisting of three courses and either tea or coffee. In addition, there is always a snack bar where a man can get special food at special times.
I am still working on leftover mail and catching up on reading, and I still say hopefully that by next week, I'll be caught up!