MAY 18, 1943
WASHINGTON, Monday—The papers report today that a Japanese dispatch accuses our forces in landing at Attu, of using poison gas. This is probably to be used as an excuse, should they decide themselves to resort to the use of poison gas. Such tactics have been known before, and we may be quite sure that our troops would not use this kind of weapon unless they did so in retaliation. We will never be the first offenders. That, I think we can all take for granted.
Yesterday afternoon I saw our daughter off on her journey back to Seattle with her youngest child. Her husband has gone and she will now return to her home and her two older children, who will welcome her with open arms. They have been very lonely these past few weeks, even though school and their usual activities must have filled up most of their time.
Seeing one's husband off to the wars is not easy for anyone, but our daughter has added responsibilities in her job and this is a good thing, since all of us need to be busy these days. We cannot help thinking about those we love who are far away, often in dangerous surroundings. Therefore, the busier we are, the less we have to worry, and the more we dwell on our happy memories, the better it will be for us all.
I had an early meeting this morning with Mr. Bruno and Miss Gay Shepperson, from Community War Services, on the subject of the West Coast plans for the care of children whose parents are at work. Then I had a press conference and a very brief chat with a woman from Kentucky. At 12:30, I reached the YWCA to attend the luncheon forum of the Washington Youth Serving Agencies.
It proved to be a very interesting forum and brought up many questions and suggestions as to what might be done to prepare young people in small towns and rural areas of our country, before they go to work in any of the big centers of war industry. Then they took up specifically what might be done here in Washington for those who find themselves in government work in this overcrowded city.
A plan is on foot to gather together the material for a directory, which will contain information on what the government agencies and all the local and national organizations have to offer young people coming here to work. This will be of great value, but I think it is important to bring this whole question down to smaller groups. There should be someone responsible in almost every office for the personnel of that particular office, and no one person should have more than one hundred people with whom to keep in touch.