SEPTEMBER 19, 1946
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I cannot help feeling that, when a Cabinet member has written a confidential letter to the President, the question of whether or not it should be published should not lie in the hands of a news commentator and columnist who has obtained a copy of it in any way whatsoever. The way he obtained the letter may have been entirely legitimate, but whether he has the right to publish it without the consent of both the writer and the recipient seems to me a question worth pondering. The subject matter of Secretary of Commerce Wallace's letter to the President is so important that, since in the end it was released to the entire press, I hope everyone will read and ponder it. Tomorrow I shall write more about it.
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As usual when I spend a day or two in New York City, every moment of my time has been scheduled for appointments. Yesterday afternoon, among numerous other people, I saw a charming Dutch girl, Miss H. J. Roosenberg, who has come over here from Holland to visit various colleges and speak on the needs of the schools of Europe.
I have long been familiar with the objectives of the World Student Fund, but she reiterated the point which seemed to her most important—namely, that students in countries where life is somewhat easier have been trying to help other students in areas where so much that makes education possible has been destroyed. We here in New York City, in the past week, have seen what a shortage of newsprint can do to our newspapers, but we have no conception of what it would be like if we were trying to obtain an education and most of the books needed had been destroyed! In many parts of Europe, even pencils and paper are practically impossible to obtain, and classrooms have vanished.
Contributions to this fund at the present time might well be made in kind, it seems to me, and would represent savings made in our educational institutions by our young people, who are somewhat wasteful of essential supplies.
Miss Roosenberg is leaving for the West Coast by air, but she will travel back slowly, making many stops along the way. I shall be interested to get her impressions before she returns to Holland. She is now excited at the mere feel of being in a free country. I only hope that our students are able to encourage her enthusiasms and her confidence in what this country can do for the less fortunate students of the world.
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At noon yesterday, I went to a luncheon given by Miss Doris Byrne, vice chairman of the New York Democratic State Committee, for the women workers in the party. Many of them are of my ancient vintage, but I am glad to say many of them are far younger! Two women candidates from Nassau County were present—one is running for Congress, and the other for the State Assembly. Both of them seemed to me women of ability and determination, so the campaign should be active even if the chances for success remain unknown until the votes are counted on Election Day.