MAY 26, 1944
NEW YORK, Thursday—On Tuesday in Washington I saw a number of people at lunch, and in the afternoon I received Madame Lescot, the wife of the President of Haiti, her daughter, Madamoiselle Lescot, and her daughter-in-law, Madame Lescot.
At four o'clock I attended the United Nations War Relief Bazaar in Justice Holmes's house, which has been turned over to the United Nations group. This bazaar has become an annual institution and is very inspiring, because when such a large and varied group of women work together for their mutual benefit, it augurs well for our ability to work together in the future!
I have just had a letter from Lady Reading, the head of the Women's Voluntary Services in England. I want to quote part of it to you:
"We have been having a very energetic time as a certain amount of raiding has started again, and, of course, we have a very heavy program indeed. The program in itself is an interesting one, because it is being carried out by a very much older age group, and one which is bearing a strain which might, a few years ago, have been considered quite impossible to take. They are not only taking it, but adapting themselves to it so well that I feel the results will be a strengthening of character and a very useful contribution to community welfare in a shape of participation in local government on a postwar basis, and that in itself will be the most extraordinarily valuable contribution to national character and national resilience that can be.
"It is so curious to think that in the same way as our greatest export in the past was an unseen export in the shape of banking and insurance, our greatest result of the work of these last five years will be a completely unseen and intangible one, which, nevertheless, will be a very valuable one by strengthening the community, and therefore, the life of the nation on a local basis and also creating a background for the return of the men and women from the forces. I feel sure that there will be a very useful eliminator of age differences. The people who have faced all sorts of trouble at home have got a certain poise which is going to be very valuable indeed, and I am constantly watching men and women on leave who help during a bad raid, getting a new respect and looking in a new way at their older relations who are tackling an operational as well as an administrative job, and tackling it without much fuss or very much excitement."
Yesterday I spent the day in West Virginia. In the morning, I gave a commencement talk at Salem College, and in the afternoon I attended the commencement exercises in the Arthurdale high school. Now I am back in New York City, with a full schedule before me!