DECEMBER 14, 1944
WASHINGTON, Wednesday—Bishop Baddeley, the Bishop of Melanesia, came to tea with us on Monday afternoon. He certainly has gained a great understanding of this country from his daily contacts with the American Navy in the Pacific. They urged him to travel in leisurely fashion across the United States and talk to as many groups as possible, telling of the life of our boys in that area. He has done that, and I think he must have given valuable information to many mothers, wives and sweethearts.
In the evening I had a second party for the MP's and men from the Walter Reed and Naval Hospitals.
Yesterday morning I had the pleasure of talking for some time with Miss Katharine Lenroot and Dr. Martha Eliot of the Children's Bureau, who are concerned, as many of us are, with future plans for the health of the nation. We have learned through Selective Service that many of our boys and girls do not get proper medical care. This results in neglecting many conditions which might easily be corrected in childhood. Many children in school are considered stupid, when all they need is a little medical attention to discover some physical defect which may perhaps be remedied, making their school years far more profitable.
This would pay us dividends when the young people reach their working years. Some of our hardheaded business men are discovering that it pays to give their employees medical care while they are employed, as it cuts down absenteeism and increases production. I think it will be easy to prove someday that a comprehensive medical service plan will pay us dividends as a nation.
The day was such a stormy one yesterday that only a very small group came from the Naval Hospital in the afternoon to see the White House. This made it a very pleasant party for me, as everyone could sit down in the State Dining Room and we could talk together.
In the late afternoon three young people with ties to our Hyde Park neighborhood came in to see me—Lt. Commander Russell Lent, whose parents lived at Hyde Park when he was a youngster, and Lieut. and Mrs. F. Wright Jr. Lieut. Wright's mother came to Hyde Park with the late Miss Harriet May Mills many years ago, and I wish Mrs. Wright could have been here with her charming son and daughter-in-law yesterday afternoon.
A few people at dinner and then a long evening of work at my desk.
I have already had two appointments this morning, and I am going to the luncheon which the Red Cross is giving in Miss Mabel Boardman's honor at the Statler Hotel today. Miss Boardman's many years of devoted work for the Red Cross entitle her to every honor we can pay her.