FEBRUARY 4, 1943
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—I filled three speaking engagements in New York City yesterday. At 1:00 o'clock I spoke at the Cosmopolitan Club, and at 4:00 o'clock at the English Speaking Union. They have a busy workroom in their rooms at Rockefeller Center and they make very nice clothes for children and adults. I saw the results of their work in the storerooms in London ready for distribution. They read off a list of hours which people had worked and I must say some of the women must be very proud, for they have rolled up as many as two or three thousand hours. Of course, they wanted to hear about my visit to their London headquarters.
At the British headquarters they have a room where American officers are received and assigned to British officers. They take them around, show them the sights, shop with them, or try to meet any of the desires which an officer on leave, or an officer newly arrived and searching how best to settle himself in a strange place, might have. In New York City the English Speaking Union has officers' club rooms, where they try to gather in officers of all the United Nations.
I left there a little after 5:00 and had two appointments at my apartment, a very pleasant dinner with a friend and then a meeting at Essex House, where I spoke. I was surprised to find a crowd of women outside, and when I did get in, I discovered that this meeting, called as a joint meeting of the auxiliaries of the A. F. of L. the CIO and the Railroad Brotherhoods, had reached unexpected proportions.
Miss Mary Anderson, of the Women's Bureau of the Department of Labor spoke, and then Mrs. Aldrich, of the OCD, and Miss Rose Schneiderman, of the New York Women's Trade Union League, read greetings from the A.F. of L. and the CIO New York leaders. A program which the women were going to adopt as a working basis, was read and adopted, and then I talked for a time.
I was deeply impressed by the interest and evident desire of the women to find ways of doing war work. This great gathering is an answer to a question which had been asked of me earlier in the day by a woman, who said, "Do you think the British women have some particular quality which is lacking in us?" I have the greatest admiration for the work of the British women, but I am quite sure that, given the same need, the women I met yesterday in all three places where I spoke, regardless of background, would respond just as well as any other women in the world.
I took the midnight train back to Washington and arrived three hours late, to find Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Sullivan, Admiral Woodward and several others awaiting me. I was glad to have the opportunity to thank Mr. and Mrs. Sullivan, the father and mother who have given five sons to our country and who are still anxious to do more.