APRIL 26, 1944
WASHINGTON, Tuesday —Last evening I enjoyed very much meeting with Dr. Davenport's interns from the National Institute of Public Affairs, who have been coming every year to spend an evening with me while they are here at work.
Tonight I am having a dinner for the Prime Minister of Australia and Mrs. Curtin. When I was in Australia, I was not able to meet Mrs. Curtin because she was at her home in Perth on the west coast, and travelling for civilians was almost impossible. When I hear people complain here, I often wonder if they realize that in Australia, which is as large as the United States, only one train and two planes a week were used for civilian transportation last summer. They carried 16 and 21 passengers respectively.
Of course there is some difference in the size of population, but we have sent many soldiers into Australia, and that adds a considerable amount to their transportation difficulties.
Mr. Curtin was so kind to me that I was very happy to have this chance to see him again and to meet Mrs. Curtin, and I hope that we shall see both the Prime Minister of New Zealand and the Prime Minister of Australia on their return from Great Britain.
I was reminded by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals that this is the week which they designate as "Be Kind to Animals Week." To most of us in this country, it hardly seems possible that we need such a reminder, because the boys in our armed forces are notoriously devoted to pets of every kind. They have mascots for bomber groups, mascots on ships, and wherever they go, they pick up some animal which they can train and "be kind to."
On the other hand, sometimes one sees sad things done unthinkingly, such as when families move away leaving their cats and dogs uncared for and homeless. I think that all children should be made to feel that if they have pets it is not just for their own pleasure, but that there is an obligation to take proper care of any animal and to train it so that it will not be a nuisance to other people.
We are approaching the end of April, and I am reminded by some friends in Buffalo, N.Y., who run the committee there for Russian War Relief, that they have had a campaign this month to fill 35,000 kits for Russian housewives. These are direct gifts from the American housewife to a housewife in Russia. They contain things that are very scarce in Russia, but which we here are still able to obtain, and I hope that this particular campaign will go over successfully not only in Buffalo, but all over our country.