SEPTEMBER 27, 1951
NEW YORK, Wednesday—I went to the ceremonies for the opening of the new Tower Building of the Memorial Center for Cancer and Allied Diseases here Tuesday afternoon. It is already functioning, but that afternoon it was possible to make a tour of inspection without bothering any of the patients. You could really appreciate the efficiency of the layout, the floor of doctors' offices where a doctor had everything he needed to do a good job of examining patients, and, within reach, help of every kind.
There is space for everyone—women and children and general cases, and even a shockproof room. This new addition, they said, would probably double the number of outpatient cases that the Memorial Hospital could take care of.
One of the most important things that has been worked out is cooperation between this privately supported institution and the city hospital. They will see here all of the patients that come to the city for help just as they see the private patients.
I met the doctor who is in charge of the children and when I remarked that that would be the saddest part of the hospital to me, he said: "Oh, no, because we try not to have the children think of disease." It came over me then that children are spared anticipation and all the needless worries that assail older people, and perhaps they are the easiest patients to work with and the most rewarding.
On Tuesday evening I saw a play called, "Lace on Her Petticoat," written by an English playwright born in Glasgow, Aimee Stuart. It was a pleasant evening and I enjoyed it, but it never was quite realistic to me. For one thing, Highland voices are rather soft, not sharp as they seemed to be in the play. And the difference between the laird and the island people seemed very un-Scottish, since those lines never seem to me to be drawn in Scotland as they were in Great Britain in the old days.
I have had a good many letters lately that speak of the need of a return to the old, simple virtues, as they were once called.
I think it is a very good thing to have clearly brought to us every now and then what these virtues were, but I don't think even if we remembered them all clearly that we would always be able to find a completely simple answer to modern problems.
As children, my generation wrote in their copy books: "Honesty is the best policy," "Be kind, sweet maid, and let who will be clever," and many similar sayings.
They were undoubtedly excellent reminders as to the way we should conduct our lives, but we have before us right now, in Mr. Gabrielson's situation with the Reconstruction Finance Company, one of the instances of how easy it is for some people to see a thing one way while others see it another way. I am sure in Mr. Boyle's case and in many other cases that have been causing comment that there has been a foundation of perfectly natural feeling. That is that a man can do in public life what he would do in private business and not have his public position affect his private business.