JULY 15, 1943
SAN FRANCISCO, Wednesday—I flew into San Francisco yesterday just before dinner time. I was happy to see our youngest son and his wife again and we had a pleasant dinner and evening together. In just a few minutes I am starting off to visit the Oakland and Mare Island Hospitals. When I was here before, and saw the other hospitals in this area, I was told that really to visit the Mare Island Hospital would take an entire day. I could not do so then, but I can today, so we shall try to cover the whole hospital. I hope also to see my grandchildren for a few minutes before I take the plane to Seattle late this afternoon.
Our daughter and her children have been alone now a little over a month since her husband joined the fighting forces overseas. Fortunately, our eldest granddaughter is 16 and so is able to be a great help. The older boy of 13 has also become a very responsible and helpful member of the household. With a little boy of 4 at home, however, and a job which requires a good deal of time every day, our daughter really has been quite a busy person.
In the whole wretched coal strike situation, I am concerned that we should not forget the fact that many of the miners have real grievances, which should be carefully considered. I am going to quote for you a letter which came to me the other day, which I think may have some facts in it which are not generally recognized.
"I am enclosing some of my husband's Illinois statements. These are some of the lowest, but none were very high. His earnings for 1941 were a little over $800, for 1942 they were a little over $1100. As far as the 30 percent increase, which time-and-a-half for the sixth day's work were to produce, in all these months the mine where my husband works has worked the sixth consecutive day once, and only once. As a general rule, they do no not even work five days a week. These are not bi-weekly statements.
"This is a strip mine and portal to portal pay and equipment upkeep mean no increase there. The policy seems to be to work only enough to keep the men out of the `rocking chair.' The government might notice and take the unemployment compensation. They seemingly figure that under the tax set-up they make about as much profit with a little work as they would working full time. I wish the government would take over all natural resources and operate them for the good of the nation instead of for the privileged few."
The above is quoted exactly.