DECEMBER 29, 1943
NEW YORK, Tuesday—Here I am in New York City again. I have already kept three appointments, though our train was somewhat late in arriving. Several people will be in to see me a little later in the afternoon. Last, but not least, I promised to take my two oldest grandchildren with their mother to see "Winged Victory" tonight.
This will be a great thrill for them, for I doubt if they have seen many theatre performances. Certainly not the type of performance which I am given to understand this one is. Mr. Moss Hart, the author, has urged me to see this Air Force show ever since it opened, so I am glad we can go tonight.
Tomorrow we shall be on our way back to Washington and our minds will turn to all the problems facing the government today. One cannot help feeling sad that there should be any strikes in war time. Yet, knowing as I do how long certain grievances have been building up in railroads, steel mills, and coal mines, I feel that not only the workers involved, but the people of the country as a whole will have to take some responsibility for these situations.
If we had been concerned about injustices in the past and had insisted that disinterested investigations take place at once and solutions be found, we probably would not have had the tense situations we face today.
It is not only the rise in the cost of living that brings these strikes about, that is just the last straw pressing on the camel's back. It is quite obvious that the soldier out in the field must not be the one to suffer. Production and transportation must go on wherever it affects materials which go to soldiers. I hope that the public learns from this situation not to ignore complaints or difficulties until they build up into mountains, which can be no longer ignored.
To my certain knowledge, there have been a number of investigations into the entire situation of the coal industry in our country. Each time there have been a number of recommendations made by the investigators. But the things that needed to be remedied were not. The public has apparently never taken the slightest interest to see that any action followed an investigation. Investigations are only of use if results follow.
I saw with regret this morning that the number of pneumonia cases was increasing. This is not strange at this season of the year, but the shortage of doctors at the present time makes it extremely difficult for both doctors and nurses when epidemics spread. We should, therefore, make a great effort to keep well.