APRIL 2, 1947
NEW YORK, Tuesday—I went to Washington yesterday afternoon, flying down and spending a short time before dinner with Mrs. Gifford Pinchot. She had a number of people at dinner who were interested in the forum for which Dr. Charles Malik and I spoke, on the subject of human rights. Then I flew back to New York, reaching home a little before 2 a.m.—which made it seem rather a long day!
I was particularly glad to see Undersecretary of the Interior Oscar Chapman, and I asked him with interest how Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands are coming along. Puerto Rico has one of its own citizens now as Governor—Jesus T. Pinero. While from the economic standpoint there is still much to be done, Mr. Chapman felt that the groundwork which ex-Governor Rex Tugwell had laid so ably was making it possible for the new administration to do a really good job for the Puerto Rican people.
I am quite sure that many of the Puerto Rican men who served in the Army returned home with a useful background of information which will help them to do more in developing industries and in increasing the output of agriculture, if the Puerto Rican Government is back of them. The Puerto Ricans have a great love for their island, but it is small and they will need to develop connections with the outside world and to industrialize to a certain extent.
Mr. Chapman also told me that Gov. William Henry Hastie was doing an excellent job for the Virgin Island people. I have always felt that someday these islands would become a delightful winter resort and draw an income from tourist visitors.
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A publisher has presented me with a new dictionary. It looks like a most comprehensive and useful volume to have around the house. Dictionaries and encyclopedias always fascinate me. I remember my husband telling me that, when he was a little boy, he read the whole way through an encyclopedia. I thought it a rather strange thing for a child to do but, as I have grown older, I have found myself, when I go to look up one thing, reading page after page of interesting things in a dictionary or an encyclopaedia!
The publisher also sent me a book on stamp collecting by Henry M. Ellis. This I am sending to the only one of my grandchildren who seems to have any interest in stamps—Johnny Boettiger. I am afraid this book is a little too old for him now, but perhaps in the future it will help him to develop his interest in collecting.
I have just finished Hendrik Willem van Loon's slender volume called "Report to Saint Peter." I grieve that he did not live long enough to write the end of it, because this first part just whets your appetite for the kind of story he told so well. He had such a fund of knowledge and such an original approach to many ideas that the way in which he could have presented his life to Saint Peter could not have failed to be interesting from beginning to end. I wish this had been one of his good, fat volumes instead of this fragment, which only sketches the background. I am grateful for this much, however, and I am sure that many others will enjoy it as much as I do.