SEPTEMBER 14, 1944
QUEBEC CITY, Wednesday—After we unpacked on Monday and were shown the various rooms, we had a small luncheon in the big living room that overlooks the St. Lawrence.
In that room you feel almost as though you were on the deck of a steamer, because you can look up and down and across to the far banks of the river. The talk at lunch went on for two hours, and Prime Minister Churchill twitted me about our differences of opinion on certain subjects. I assured him I had not changed, and neither had he, but we like each other, nevertheless.
It is a good thing to reach a point in life where you can agree with people on the things on which you can agree, and differ on those on which you disagree. I like and admire Mr. Churchill and recognize his great qualities, and am deeply grateful for the leadership without which much of the world might be a very different and a sadder place today.
The real work of the conference had not yet begun, of course, even though informal conversations were carried on throughout the day. The ladies have no work to do, so I spent an entirely frivolous Monday afternoon having my hair done. In the evening the Governor General and Princess Alice entertained the members of the conference and their staffs, our Ambassador and his wife, as well as many Quebec officials.
The dinner was in the large room where the King and Queen, when they visited here, sat on a raised dais, and where their representatives sit when they receive at big receptions. Tall red candles in silver candelabra and a beautiful silver bowl made the table glitter. In spite of the necessary formality, the atmosphere was pleasant and easy, and the speeches, when they came, were simple and from the heart. The toasts to the King, the President, the Governor General and the Prime Minister were drunk with warmth by all those present.
Yesterday morning photographs were taken out on what is called the deck, a long open veranda on top of the parapet leading off from the big living room.
There was a haze which made it impossible actually to see the Isle d'Orleans or the bridge which lies beyond. I remembered both, however, and looked for them, for once, when I was here, we drove around this island in what happened to be the strawberry season. These strawberries are world famous, with a flavor which I have never tasted anywhere else, and I still remember buying them on that tour and eating them with great satisfaction.
One river bridge is noted for the illusion created when passing under it on a ship. Everyone always thinks the ship is going to strike its mast, but though you hold your breath, you never actually strike.