JUNE 11, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday —Last evening I spent from 7:00 to 9:00 at a meeting at the old soldiers' home. They wrote me and said they were veterans of many wars, that they held meetings twice a month, that they had a great interest in the war now going on, and felt left out because I had told so many groups of my experiences in Great Britain and had not been to them. So, since there was a stag dinner last night at the White House for the President of Paraguay, I spent the evening with the veterans.
At 5:00 o'clock yesterday, the President of Paraguay, General Higinio Morinigo, was received with the customary formalities, and after dinner he and the President had a long conference.
I left on the night train for New York City, in order to go this afternoon to the dedication of the Anzac garden on top of the British Empire Building. At 5:30 I go to Norwalk, Conn., to lead a forum, after which I return to New York City to take a night train back to Washington.
I was surprised on Tuesday to have my press conference women ask me about these tales which have been circulated and which accuse the women in our military services of a percentage of immorality. I realized, of course, that the reporters asking me knew quite well that they were not true, but, since they had to ask me, I also realized there must be a certain amount of belief in the country that these tales are justified.
I have inquired of the authorities and find that there is probably no group of young women anywhere with as high a standard for good behavior. Someone wrote me complaining about certain things they thought they had seen near one of the training camps and that was at once investigated.
These young women take their work very seriously. They are imbued with a desire to be of service during the war, and they know that part of that service is to set a high standard of conduct. The public should know that the women already recruited in the WAACS take the place of four divisions of soldiers, and releasing that number of men for active service means something to the enemy. The enemy was conscious of this when it started a similar whispering campaign against the women in the British and Canadian forces.
Why we fall for this same type of Axis propaganda here is beyond my understanding. If any of us know of individual cases of misbehavior, we should report them at once so that they can be corrected. But to believe that these girls are not doing a patriotic and fine job, and living up to the standards which their homes would expect of them, is just playing into the enemy's hands.