MARCH 6, 1944
WASHINGTON, Sunday—Friday night the Cabinet dinner was given to the President in the White House, and afterwards under Staff Sergeant Virgil Fox's direction, Sergeant Donald Benjamin, Corporal Glenn Darwin and Private First Class Erno Valasek gave us a delightful program like those they give in the various hospitals. Then we were shown some war films.
This occasion always gives me an opportunity to see not only the present members of the cabinet, but many of those who have been with us in the past. We usually hold this dinner on the Fourth of March, but this year the White House Correspondents' dinner fell on that date.
Yesterday morning the services which my husband has always asked for on the Fourth of March were held, and the Rev. Endicott Peabody, with the Rector of St. Thomas Church and the Rector of St. John's Church, all conducted the services.
These services have been held for a number of years, and I think they must give to all courage to go on along the lines which have kept us together and allowed us to move forward during the past difficult years.
I am very much interested in paid advertisements which are appearing in many papers. The one I saw on March 2 is headed "U.S. Senate Votes to feed Europe's starving children. The food is ready, the ships are ready, the International Red Cross is ready. Mr. President, what are we waiting for?"
The Senate and those who wrote this advertisement must know that the President can do nothing in this problem. Even the State Department can do nothing about it. This is a war question and one which the Allied Military Committee must decide. No one in this country or in any other country of the United Nations wants to starve the children of the world, but only the military authorities can determine whether feeding them today will mean a longer war. Therefore, advertisements of this kind seem to me misleading.
Every group interested in feeding the children of Europe is a humanitarian group, but war is a ruthless business. It cannot be conducted along humanitarian lines. The sooner our pacifists and church groups realize this and bend their efforts to winning the war, the better it will be for the children of the world. I know that one of the arguments is that feeding children will help us to win the war. It is said that the people in the occupied countries are becoming weak and bitter, and that they will not feel that we are any better than their present oppressors when we attack. That again is a question for the military to decide. We have not as much information as they have, but even a layman like myself cannot believe that the peoples of the nations now subjugated can be so shortsighted.