MARCH 26, 1945
WASHINGTON, Sunday—It was very pleasant going through the White House, on Friday, with a subcommittee of the Fine Arts Commission. They have some plans they want to carry out in the future when the war is over; but in the meantime they said very firmly that they do not like the wood baskets. I haven't the remotest idea, however, what kind of containers I can use, since the restrictions on materials make it difficult to find receptacles which will hold logs of wood in these formal rooms. In the winter, a fire in the Red Room or the Green Room occasionally makes all the difference between cold formality and warmth and welcome.
Our guests, the Governor General of Canada and his wife, Princess Alice, have found Washington very beautiful. I am so glad they came at this time of year, which really is a perfect time. They saw Mount Vernon, Arlington and the National Gallery yesterday, and when they came in at 5 o'clock for tea they were really exhausted sightseers. A few of their friends came in to greet them, and then in the evening we had a small dinner, ending up with a family chat in the President's study.
Saturday morning they were off again to see the sights, and then lunched with Under Secretary of State and Mrs. Joseph C. Grew. At 3:30 we took them to their train. Their visit has given us an opportunity to express our appreciation of the welcome which they have always extended to us, and I hope it has given them pleasure.
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I was happy on Friday afternoon to see Miss Molly Flynn again, who is now working with UNRRA and is back after some months in Egypt. Later, John Gunther came in to talk with my daughter and me for a little while.
Yesterday morning I went to the clubhouse of the National Council of Negro Women for a meeting with Mrs. Mary Bethune and a few other women.
One or two appointments in the late afternoon Saturday, and a quiet dinner in the evening, filled the day.
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I was shocked to read in the papers yesterday morning that since 1940 there has been a rise in the number of deaths from cancer. I had thought that we were making progress in the control of this dread disease. A letter to me the other day begged that a concerted effort be made for research that will finally discover its cause. Unfortunately, the causes are not always so easy to find, no matter how much money you put into a scientific research project. The control of cancer, I gather, is largely in the hands of the public itself. If they can overcome their fear and watch for the very first signs, often a case can be completely cured. It is when people try to fool themselves into thinking that all goes well, and that there is really nothing the matter, that conditions become so bad nothing can be done.