JUNE 25, 1937
WASHINGTON, Thursday—My guest on the radio last night, Mrs. Ida Harris, came down on the train with me and together we chatted during an hour of the trip. She is a very fine woman and told me that both her children are now at work, though her son after four years with one firm, was told the other evening that he was temporarily laid off and given no definite time for his return, so he is trying to find some new work temporarily.
Her daughter works in a downtown department store as a sales girl where conditions are not of the best. "But," said Mrs. Harris, "It is better than nothing and we can't complain, my husband has a steady job."
After our radio talk, I came back to the White House to find that the President who had taken his Belgian guests down to Mt. Vernon by boat, had returned. They were resting, so I did not disturb them until just before dinner, but my husband, poor man, was hard at work and I did not get a chance to talk with him until the Cabinet Officer who was in his study, had left. Then I told him all I could of Anna and John and we talked for a short time about the strike and suddenly I discovered that we only had twenty minutes left to dress for dinner.
The dinner was pleasant and I found the Belgian Prime Minister a very interesting person with whom to talk. He and his wife both seem so young, it is hard to realize that he has carried such heavy burdens in the government.
Much to my joy, Lady Astor turned up too yesterday and I know no one who can enliven a party more than that lady can. I looked across the table at one moment and saw her giving her two neighbors Mr. Sumner Welles of the State Department and Mr. Harry Hopkins a real lecture. But from where I sat I could not gather what the subject was on which she was discoursing.
After dinner we all came upstairs to see some movies and they opened with a Walt Disney picture on the Alpine Climbers. The President always adores these, how much they appealed to our other guests, I don't know, but they were followed by some of the pictures which had been taken of the Belgian Prime Minister and his wife since their arrival in this country, even those taken yesterday morning had been flown to New York, developed and returned here in time to be shown last night! The Belgian Prime Minister made a little speech in the movies and he kept confiding to me in an undertone that it made him quite hot to hear himself as his English seemed inadequate. However, he is a Princeton graduate and in conversation his English is very good, far better than the French which most Americans can talk.