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Mary LaskerMary Lasker
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Part:         Session:         Page of 1143

Q:

You say that President Roosevelt characterized it as kind of a hot potato politically, but at the same time she was free to give it her. . .

Lasker:

She was free unofficially to give it her blessing and to use her then enormous influence to bring people together under her auspices.

Q:

You must have felt that you were really gaining ground in your efforts.

Lasker:

Well, I did, but Pearl Harbor made me feel that everything was going to be put off a long time, and indeed it was.

In January of '42 I went again to a dinner at the White House which Mrs. Roosevelt had invited me to on behalf of an organization called the International Students Service. Things were rather grim and anxious. I remember sitting next to Attorney General Biddle, and I see that I have written that I thought he seemed like a special privilege through birth to money man, who was intellectual without experience in dealing with large-scale world affairs or national ones. He seemed condescending and inexperienced about the world but liberal in his basic thinking. This sound like a very harsh judgment of him; I don't know whether I was right or not.

Q:

Did you get involved in this student effort as a result of this dinner?



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