JUNE 15, 1943
HYDE PARK, Monday—The country is too lovely these days ever to leave it, but back we go to New York City this afternoon. A cool breeze blew across my porch this morning and the roses on my desk have blossomed out in full bloom. I never heard the frog chorus in the evening or the bird chorus in the morning more full throated and triumphant than it has been these last few days. How can the world be so beautiful and so horrible at the same time?
Since it is anonymous, I am going to quote you a letter which strikes me as really amusing:
"Dear Mrs. Roosevelt,
"Are the ladies of the country getting mad because they are going to be asked to state all their personal affairs, their ages, etc., in connection with the pay-as-you-go questionnaire, to be handled by office help in their places of employment? Too bad you cannot meet them personally!
They seem to think they have a personal right to some privacy in this country and it is high time they put men into office who will respect their personal right! Can you not say something, Mrs. Roosevelt to console these ladies with fine sensibilities? Please explain to them that all their affairs are now the affairs of the public and that they must be patient until they are able to elect men into office who will respect their rights to any privacy. Poor ladies!
Just a Listener!"
Whoever would have thought that any pay-as-you-go tax bill would lead to such strange thoughts? I have never found the public especially interested in private affairs as they are represented in the answers to questionnaires. It takes a little dressing up to make people pay attention, and that is not usually done by elected officials. The press and the radio as a rule take care of that, so my dear "Listener" calm your "ladies." Unless they make good copy in some other way, their questionnaires will remain of little interest.
I read the anti-strike bill through yesterday. I am sorry anyone has made it necessary for us to have one, even in wartime. I must say the arguments which contend that the one particular clause on political contributions, should apply not only to labor unions but to corporations and businesses, seem to me rather valid.
Of course, I think it would be a great step forward if the Government allowed all candidates to spend exactly the same amount, gave them so much time on the radio, so much newspaper advertising space and so much cash for travelling and actually meeting people.
It would really be a good thing if this expense came out of our taxes and we never had to have any funds raised by political organizations except for education work on actual policies and measures between election periods. Even where party activities such as these are concerned, I am not sure that there might not be better ways of doing it than the way in which we do it now.