DECEMBER 17, 1942
NEW YORK, Wednesday—We had a short but very pleasant meeting of the Chi Omega Achievement Award Committee yesterday. I cannot remember ever arriving at an agreement as quickly as we did on our choice for this year's award.
I always enjoy meeting with this group. In the course of conversation, several questions came up which I have been thinking a good deal about of late. What is the place in the war effort, I wonder, of older women who are trained in business or office work of some kind, who are college graduates, still quite able to do a full day's work, and yet not apparently wanted anywhere?
Of course, I realize that this would not be so if we actually needed every bit of manpower we had in the country. I saw in Great Britain how everybody is needed, even the physically handicapped are used.
We also talked a little of the unrest which seems to be affecting girls' colleges as well as boys' at the present time. I am receiving a number of letters from girls who feel they should leave college and go into what they call more active service—a factory, Red Cross work, or the AuxiliaryMilitary Forces.
To me it seems that this should depend entirely upon the needs of the country, looked at from a long view as well as the immediate situation. If we need an increase in certain groups of specified occupations at once, I think the Manpower Commission should tell the people, and that should include the women of the country, where these particular workers are needed and may be found.
I believe that good minds and young people with potentialities for development in the sciences, the professions and in executive work of all kinds, will need trained minds more than ever before. College can give this training in a shorter period than would be possible if one waited for the years of experience, which some of us have had to accept as a substitute.
I do not feel that any girl should stay in college, who is not doing the maximum of work. I do not feel that, in these important years, girls should be chosen for college purely on the basis of whether they can afford to pay for this opportunity. They should be there because of the potential value which they will bring to the Nation. If they have this added training, the Nation should be willing to put something toward their development.
This morning I am going down to tell the Joint Legislative Committee on Nutrition as much as I can about the British experience in nutrition. Then we take a train back to Washington.