AUGUST 17, 1943
HYDE PARK, Monday—The secret is out and I can now say that the Prime Minister and his daughter, with the other members of his party, were at Hyde Park with us for the past few days.
We had picnic lunches both days and tried to give them as many American things to eat as we could think of. I found that even the Prime Minister learned to eat corn on the cob quite proficiently before he left.
Mr. David Gray, our Minister to Ireland, who has also been staying with us, made only one request of me, namely, that we give him corn on the cob at every meal, for once he is back in Ireland he will get none.
Miss Mary Churchill is young and lovely looking and full of life. It was a joy to see how much she enjoyed doing the things that are a part of our country life here and would normally be part of her country life at home. Instead, for two years, she was first a private and is now an officer in the Auxiliary Territorial Service.
She serves in an anti-aircraft battery. While they do have time off and she comes home now and then for dinner and the night, her time off is so short, she told me this was the first opportunity she had had in two years to swim or to ride a horse.
She is a friendly soul and stopped to talk to the soldiers as she went along. One of them presented her with a magazine, because it had some articles on Great Britain in which he thought she would be interested. She won a tribute from the corporal riding with her, for when he went out with me, he said with feeling: "Miss Churchill is a beautiful rider, she knows how to handle a horse!"
The Prime Minister seemed to enjoy leisurely talking at meals and sitting out under the trees. There were hours, of course, of serious work for both the President and the Prime Minister, but it was also a period of relaxation. The Prime Minister said to me: "You know one works better when one has a chance to enjoy a little leisure now and then." The old proverb—"All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy," holds good for all of us, I think.
Miss Thompson and I were particularly sorry that Mrs. Churchill had not sufficiently recovered from her journey across the ocean to make this trip to Hyde Park. She was so kind to us in London, that we still hope someday that we may be able to welcome her somewhere in this country. She is a lady of great charm and vivacity, and her kindness and fine character endear her to all who meet her.