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WASHINGTON, Tuesday—I was late arriving at the Office of Civilian Defense yesterday morning because, the President who has been very mysterious as to what was going to happen over these holidays, finally decided to tell me that the British Prime Minister, Mr. Winston Churchill1, and his party were arriving some time in the late afternoon or evening. It had not occurred to him that this might require certain moving of furniture to adapt rooms to the purposes for which the Prime Minister wished to use them.

Before all the orders were finally given, it was 10:00 o'clock and I was late at my office, and half an hour late in getting back to the White House for my press conference. I caught up after that and was only five minutes late in reaching the Salvation Army Headquarters at 2:00 o'clock. We had the usual Christmas celebration there.

From there I went to the meeting of the American Committee for British Catholic Relief. Justice Murphy2 presided and Father D'Arcy3 read some interesting excerpts from letters, which showed great appreciation and gratitude for the efforts of the American Catholics to help their friends overseas.

Back to the office from that meeting, I talked with a series of people until it was time to go to one of the alley Christmas trees. These parties are sponsored by the Washington Federation of Churches, and every evening this week there will be a gathering singing carols around a little lighted Christmas tree in an alley.

I returned to the White House at 6:15 and waited to greet our distinguished guest. The President had gone to the airport to meet him and they did not come back till 7:00 o'clock. After a few minutes conversation and a very belated cup of tea, we all went to our rooms to get ready for dinner. The only other people at dinner were Secretary of State4 and Mrs. Hull,5 Under-Secretary of State6 and Mrs. Welles,7 and Lord8 and Lady Halifax.9

The gentlemen all gathered together in the President's study after dinner. The ladies were left to talk a little while, and then to go home. They sent their cars back to wait for their husbands. I did a couple of hours work on the mail before finishing the day.


Copyright, 1941, by United Feature Syndicate, Inc.

Footnotes & Resources

  1. Sir Winston Churchill, 1874-1965, Statesman, orator and author, British prime minister (1940-1945)
  2. Frank Murphy, 1890-1949, U.S. Supreme Court Justice (1940-1949)
  3. Martin Cyril D'Arcy, 1888-1976, Jesuit priest and philosopher
  4. Cordell Hull, 1871-1955, U.S. Secretary of State 1933-1944
  5. Frances Hull, 1875-1954, Spouse of Cordell Hull, U.S. Secretary of State
  6. Sumner Welles, 1892-1961, Assistant Secretary of State and then Under Secretary of State 1933-1943; close friend of both Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt
  7. Mathilde Welles, d.1949, Spouse of Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles
  8. Earl of Halifax, Edward Frederick Lindley Wood, 1881-1959, British Ambassador to the U.S. (1941-1946)
  9. Countess of Halifax, Dorothy Onslow Wood, 1885-1976, Spouse of the Earl of Halifax, British Ambassador to the U.S. (1941-1946)

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