AUGUST 16, 1940
HYDE PARK, Thursday—It was a beautiful drive to New York yesterday, both going down and coming back, but on the way home I slept most of the way. I was the lone passenger and after reading two newspapers tried to read a book, but I don't find that very satisfactory in a car. Before long I was waking up with a start every now and then, realizing that I had been sound asleep. On one occasion, as a car passed us, I awoke just in time to see a very amused lady turning around to look at me.
In the morning, I went to a meeting of the U.S. Committee for the Care of Refugee Children, and then went to the Biltmore Hotel to lunch with a number of my friends who have come up from Washington to work at the National Democratic Committee headquarters. Mrs. Dorothy McAllister, who is head of the women's division, is just getting settled, with Mrs. May Thompson Evans to help her. I went the rounds afterwards to say a word of greeting to all my friends, including Mr. Edward J. Flynn, Mr. Frank Walker, and Mr. Charles Michaelson.
Later I saw a number of people and did not get off for the country until 5 o'clock, so it was after 7 when we sat down on my porch for a quiet dinner. The mail was waiting to be done in the evening, and I still see Miss Thompson's desk piled high, though she had hoped that a day or two here alone would enable her to catch up on her work.
I am going off again today to Orange County to attend the Onion Festival, which I am told is a colorful occasion. Tomorrow I will tell you more about it.
Miss Thompson's conscience keeps her right at her desk, so if any of you have written me letters and received no answers, it is because of the amount of mail which has been pouring in of late.
It is very interesting to me to see the differences of opinion on the conscription bill. The Burke-Wadsworth bill has really been studied by a great many people, and they write objecting to certain particular clauses. Some people are opposed to any kind of service or training, military or otherwise. Others object to such things as not safeguarding conscientious objectors, or the range of age, or the compulsory provision. By and large, I should say from the mail that there is a realization that some kind of universal service would be a good thing, with a minimum amount of military service needed during a part of the time. I am glad that a full and free discussion is going on, so that when legislation is passed it will represent the will of the majority of the people.