JANUARY 21, 1943
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I am most grateful to the people and officials of Canada for their kind welcome in Montreal. We had a rather busy day yesterday, but a very pleasant and most interesting one. A press conference had been arranged for me and then I paid a courtesy call on the Mayor and attended a fairly large luncheon.
In the afternoon, I was taken through one of the war plants which employs a considerable number of women. It is quite evident that the women of Canada are meeting their challenge in the same way the women are in the United States. Since Canada is part of the British Empire and many Canadian families travel back and forth to England and are closely tied to relatives in Great Britain, one feels the reality of the war more poignantly here than in the United States.
One occasionally feels this tie even in the United States. For instance, I felt that I had stepped into a church club in Scotland the other night, when I went to a USO club called "The Thistle." Open to British sailors and merchant marine men, as well as to our own men in the services, I found that the women acting as hostesses were all Scotch, with good Scotch accents which had not worn off with their years in the United States.
That same thing might happen anywhere in Canada. I am sure they would sing "Auld Lang Syne" with as much feeling as they sang it for me in this little club in New York City the other night.
After the great evening meeting in the interest of Russian War Relief, at which Mr. Mackenzie King and the people responded generously to the appeals made, we caught the train and arrived in New York City this morning. We shall proceed to Washington in the course of a few hours.
I have noticed lately a number of articles in the papers, and even some cartoons on the subject, as to whether we should lower the voting age, since we have lowered the draft age. This question has been academically discussed for some time, but now it becomes more than an academic question.
If young men of eighteen and nineteen are old enough to be trained to fight their country's battles and to proceed from training to the battlefields, I think we must accept the fact that they are also old enough to know why we fight this war. If that is so, then they are old enough to take part in the political life of their country and to be full citizens with voting powers.