JANUARY 21, 1942
WASHINGTON, Tuesday—As I sat at breakfast this morning, I read the criticism of Secretary Wickard's mention that we might possibly have to be a little careful in our use of sugar. He said we would have enough for our real needs and that we had plenty of substitutes, so I wonder what we, the people of the United States, really want our public officials to do.
Do we want to be kept in ignorance, because we can't be trusted to accept a situation and do the wise thing? It is perfectly obvious that a housewife who goes out and buys a hundred pounds of sugar and puts it away, is putting up the price of sugar for herself and her family. It is also obvious that she can not buy enough pounds of sugar to last her through the war.
It seems to me, that all of us ought to be grateful to be told the truth. If we have to go without things, we simply will go without them. Instead of chiding a public official who tells the truth, I should think it would be more important to devise ways of bringing home the need to prepare to meet conditions in the best and most sensible way.
The most sensible way of meeting a sugar shortage is; one, to find out where you can use substitutes; two, to find out where you can use less sugar and not notice it particularly; and three, make up your mind to do a little real sacrificing and give up some sugar you would ordinarily use.
Last night I saw the opening performance of Mr. Marc Connelly's play; "The Flowers of Virtue." Dean James Landis, Mr. Alexander Woolkott and I decided that the first act needed some going over. The play is increasingly good as it progresses, and the third act we thought very moving. Mr. Frank Craven is always delightful, but the two people who really delighted my soul, are Mr. S. Thomas Gomez and Mr. Peter Beauvais.
This morning I took a half hour out and went to the Children's Hospital for the annual photograph with infantile paralysis patients. I think the children must have become accustomed to lights and cameras, for even the smallest girl sat with a smile on her face and endured the still photographs and movies without a tear.
I lunched with the ladies of the Senate. They are all working hard on Red Cross garments. They have changed their lunch, so that each person brings her own little box of food. Mrs. Wallace was kind enough to bring mine, and it was so plentiful and good that I still feel I have eaten too much. Now I am dashing back to the Office of Civilian Defense for the afternoon.