JUNE 8, 1950
OSLO, Norway, Wednesday—On Monday morning we visited a day nursery school during our tour of Oslo. They are run on the same lines as a nursery school, with a trained person in charge. A working mother can leave her child at eight o'clock but she must provide the child's breakfast. There is no charge for care. Milk and a noon meal are provided free. The food is brought from a central kitchen in each district. After lunch the children rest for an hour and they are collected at five o'clock. The equipment would be familiar to any one at home but as yet the outside playground was not quite as complete.
Norway's Merchant Marine is one of her important assets. Her men are skilled and daring sailors.
We visited one welfare building run by the largest ship building company. This building stands across the street from the shipyards. Three floors are given up to apartments. These are occupied by employees, who must be on call in the yard and so need to live nearby. There is living accomodation here for the apprentices who come from outside of Oslo. The rooms have four bunks, washing and bathing facilities and small sitting rooms are provided. There is a large cafeteria where the workers can bring their own food, or alternatively, they can eat the food provided—soup, sandwiches and drink. About 1300 people are fed daily. At the very top of the building there is a charming balcony which is used for recreation. The workers who use this building have lockers and in the basement, beautifully equipped showers, steam rooms and a place to dry clothes in case of wet weather. I think that all these facilities must greatly contribute to the good health and comfort of the workmen.
The morning's sightseeing was followed by a long press conference attended by fifty reporters and a number of photographers. This took place in the American Embassy. From there we went, together with our Ambassador and Mrs. Bay, to a charming little Norwegian country house high up on the mountain commanding a most glorious view. This luncheon was given by the government and attended by the heads of various government departments. Mr. Lange, the Norwegian Foreign Minister, welcomed us to his table. At the end of the meal our Ambassador rose and thanked them for the hospitality. I was very grateful for their kindness and enjoyed the delicious luncheon, as well as the drive, and delightful surroundings.
This house was given by a banker to the government. Its primary use is for financial conferences in connection with the city of Oslo's budget. They meet and remain completely cut off from the world until the budget is accepted. This might be an innovation worth considering at home. Surrounding the house is a park, with a restaurant and other buildings. The land was bequeathed by the same banker for the use of the government of the city of Oslo. It may not be sold or diverted to other uses. It is used largely for skiing parties in winter and hiking parties in summer.