MAY 1, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—Like everybody else in the country, I am deeply concerned about the possibility of a coal strike. I know only too well the difficulties under which the miners have worked and lived. I realize that by the end of the week, many a miner owes the company store almost more than he has earned, and, in the past, company store prices have been higher in many places than the prices in other nearby neighborhoods.
I think it is essential that these men be protected not only from the general rise in the cost of living, but from the abuses which company stores and company towns have brought about for many years.
Mine owners have a right to make, not only a reasonable return on their investment, but since, for a long time many mines have not been able to work, there are probably some legitimate charges which should be covered now that they are open again. The Government should see that there is a fair deal for both owners and miners.
The right to strike is a right which men should never be forced to give up, but which in the face of grave national emergency they may give up voluntarily. The boys who need the things which will be lacking in case the mines close, are boys that come, many of them, from the home of the miners.
They will be the sufferers and I do not think the men in question quite understand that what they should demand is that their government protect them, but not for a minute should they allow themselves to be led in keeping the materials of war away from their sons.
We had the most wonderful flight back from the West Coast. Just a few bumpy spots, but outside of that we sailed along with a tail wind and spent an hour and a half in one airport, because we were that much ahead of time.
Arriving home yesterday afternoon, I found myself engulfed in all the little things which make me wonder how life ever progresses in a household when one is not at home.
Finally, I left my desk long enough to get ready for dinner. We had a nice leisurely, family meal and told each other all the things we had seen and observed from the time we separated until we met again last night.
I thought I would get to bed early, having spent a night and most of a day on a plane, but people kept coming in to talk to me, and I found so much writing to do, that it was well on toward 1:00 a.m. before I finally went to bed.
I have several appointments today with people who have been very patient and waited a long time to see me about their various interests. At 5:00 o'clock I am going to an exhibition for Russian War Relief.