DECEMBER 8, 1943
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—Yesterday afternoon, my granddaughter, Eleanor, and I went to the National Gallery of Art to see an exhibition of naval aviation paintings. They are instructive and delightful as drawings and are also colorful reminders of the different parts of the world in which our men train and fight.
Commander Murray's portrait of my husband at his desk in the Executive Office, is exhibited at one end of the first galleries. I think it is a very interesting painting. Though the President is rather incidental to the room, it is an excellent likeness. On the whole, I almost prefer paintings of this kind, where an individual is subordinate to his surroundings.
Afterwards, we stopped at the National Museum to see the watercolors of Mexico, done by Mr. Walter Buckingham Swan. His architectural pictures are beautiful in detail. I like many of his landscapes, though the effect is less brilliant and colorful than I would have expected in a semi-tropical environment. The whole collection, however, makes a very charming group. It gives a picture of Mexican rural and urban life which many of us will want to see for ourselves.
Day by day news comes in of the meetings that have been taking place overseas. I think that one of the things which will interest the people in this country greatly is the pledge that the United States, China and Great Britain have entered into, which guarantees the ultimate freedom of Korea. The Koreans are not a belligerent people and they have been under the Japanese yoke, which has been a heavy one, for a great many years.
It is to be hoped that the future holds for them an opportunity to develop their own civilization and culture and to live in peace and quiet. With the promise that the Japanese will ultimately be defeated and their gradual expansion territorially curtailed in the Pacific, the nations there face new responsibilities. They must see to it that economic and agricultural development of all these countries provides decent living standards for the people as a whole.
Many people have been hungry in Japan and China, as well as in India, during the past centuries. Today it is possible so to control the forces of nature that the disastrous floods may be brought to an end. There can be sufficient production of foodstuffs to feed the people generously. This is one of the first objectives in the postwar world.