DECEMBER 4, 1943
WASHINGTON, Friday—From the point of view of general interest I am afraid that yesterday was a dull day. I saw a good many people, among them Mrs. Ellen Woodward and Mrs. Elizabeth Conkey, the two women who were among our delegates to the UNRRA conference in Atlantic City. They were both much impressed by the people from other nations with whom they worked, as well as by the work of our own committee, which met every morning to consider what the attitude of the United States representatives would be on the questions coming up for discussion in the various committees.
Last evening, Secretary and Mrs. Morgenthau, Mr. Frederic Delano, Mr. and Mrs. J. Lawrence Houghteling and Mrs. Warren Robbins, dined with me. We had the pleasure of seeing one of the series of films made by the Army for use in our camps. This one is in two parts and is entitled "The Battle of Russia."
It reviews the history of Russia and shows the magnificent way in which Russians over and over again have defended their land. The Union of the Soviet Socialist Republics covers a very large area of the world's surface and 100 different languages are spoken by its 190,000,000 people.
In our country, people have a variety of intonations and peculiarities of expression, but we do speak one language. The fact that the Russians can show such unity and strength, and still speak 100 different languages, has shaken my faith a little in the efficacy of teaching all the peoples of the world one language in the interests of peace.
The Treasury Department has started a new campaign. At least it is a new one in this country, though I believe some of its phases have already been tried out in Great Britain. This campaign exploits a gentleman called "The Squander Bug." He is a money-eating figure who eats up your dollars, instead of letting you put them into War Bonds and Stamps.
He is the enemy of the pocketbook. He is used to buying useless things now which you could go without. Every time you buy anything that isn't really useful or that you don't need, you are making scarce goods even scarcer. You are not saving the money which, at the end of the war, would make it possible for you to have the things which you need and want.
You are not planning for full employment and prevention of the disastrous spiral that can be brought about when we should be expanding the production of goods, but have no money with which to buy them. I suppose we had better ask the Treasury Department to give us all the reminders they can through "The Squander Bug," so that he will constantly be kept before us and we shall be saved from ourselves.