APRIL 10, 1945
NEW YORK, Monday—We left Hyde Park early this morning, and I am sure that anyone looking at us carefully would have been able to remark that we had been doing some kind of work to which we were not accustomed! We creaked a little in the joints, which only goes to prove that we should do physical work more often!
I want to tell you a little today about the United Negro College Fund campaign which starts on the 18th of this month. For many years these colleges raised their funds separately and it was a hard task for the various college presidents. It meant that they gave more time than should be given to raising of funds and less to the administration of their particular institution.
This year the goal is $1,550,000. This covers the needs of at least 27 colleges, which was the number of members last year. The Negroes form a tenth of our population and are our biggest minority, and these colleges train teachers, doctors, ministers and the people who are going to be leaders in this minority group. These colleges will have to accept their share in helping to adjust the returned Negro servicemen to peacetime occupations, since out of the million Negro servicemen many thousands are college graduates planning to continue their work.
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The president of the fund is Dr. F. T. Patterson of Tuskegee Institute, and the chairman is Thomas Morgan of the Sperry Corporation. Walter Hoving, president of Lord and Taylor, is chairman of the executive committee, John D. Rockefeller Jr. is chairman of the advisory committee and the treasurer is Winthrop Aldrich, president of the Chase National Bank. This looks like a sound setup; but the money has to come from you and me, and unless we recognize our individual responsibility and shoulder it the board cannot raise the money needed. It is going to be badly needed—in fact, proof of the need has already been shown because of the servicemen already returning in our bigger cities.
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The OWI has put out a pamphlet which, unlike many things that come to my desk today, I find really very practical. It is entitled "Planned Spending and Saving." It covers for us the essentials of the problem and then actually finds some solutions. It makes some suggestions as to how we can economize. It stresses the need for budgeting. One of the points it brings out is, I think, good for us all to remember: "Keep your own prices down. Don't take advantage of war conditions to ask more for your labor, your services or the goods you sell."
Many of us are anxious to see prices kept down. At the same time, if we can get a little more, we see no reason why our standards should be higher than our neighbor's; and if he is accepting an increased compensation, why should not we do the same. Yet in the long run, if we succumb to temptation we will be the sufferers.