MAY 5, 1942
NEW YORK, Monday—We left the country after an early supper last night because I have another full day here. It began at 10:30 with the opening of the campaign for selling war savings stamps in retail stores. The campaign is to encourage careful buying and to induce customers to take part of their change in Defense Stamps.
After that was over, I went to the annual meeting of the board of directors of the United States Committee for the Care of European Children. This lasted a long while. One or two people came to lunch. In the afternoon I attended a meeting of the Committee of the Washington Bureau of the International Student Service.
Connecticut's voluntary registration of women to fill its labor needs in the agricultural and industrial fields, is beginning today. They were a little troubled because they thought the decision not to hold a compulsory registration of women at the present time, might make women feel their work was not needed. As a matter of fact it is because localities have met their needs through such voluntary participation as this, that a national compulsory registration is at present postponed.
The decision was made by the various bureaus concerned with the Federal Security Agency. I was interested to find they felt that if the need arose, compulsory registration of woman power could be put through very quickly. Classification of skills and of needs for the various parts of the country could be accomplished within three weeks. This speaks well for the efficiency which has been developed in the employment service and in the Bureau of Women in Industry.
I wonder if, in some of our more crowded industrial areas, we have not been a little slow in developing communal feeding kitchens where the workers and their families may obtain good meals at reasonable prices. We have talked a good deal about the development of day nurseries, nursery schools and recreational facilities for older children, but I do not know how far this has been actually accomplished throughout the country.
Probably this information will be coming to us shortly in reports from the Office of Civilian Defense. I hope that where exceptionally good jobs are being done they will be written up in some detail for the benefit of other parts of the country.
Unemployment still seems to exist, particularly among older men and women. I am sorry to say that our minority groups are still finding that they are not always given jobs according to their abilities. Sometimes the employer is afraid to be impartial, sometimes the workers are prejudiced. The people who could do a great deal to bring about a change in attitude are the buying public, and they seem apathetic.