Page images
PDF
EPUB

Mr. W. A. NELSON. No, no; that was determined by the National Labor Relations Board. The names of the employees that were permitted to vote, every last one of them, was put on either an eligible list or an ineligible list, and if you were a foreman, and at that time there was not the distinction drawn as there is today as to who was a foreman and who was not, and frankly the company put all they could put on that list. It was to their interest to do so.

(Whereupon there was discussion off the record.)

The CHAIRMAN. We will adjourn until Monday morning at 10 o'clock, when these gentlemen will resume their testimony at that time.)

(Whereupon the hearing was adjourned to Monday, April 12, 1943, at 10 a. m.)

FULL UTILIZATION OF MANPOWER

MAN

THURSDAY, APRIL 8, 1943

HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES,
COMMITTEE ON MILITARY AFFAIRS,

Washington, D. C. The committee met at 10 a. m., Hon. Andrew J. May (chairman) presiding.

The CHAIRMAN. The committee will please be in order. We are meeting for the purpose of resuming the hearings this morning on H. R. 1742 by Mr. Wadsworth, which is the subject of civilian manpower.

We have three witnesses for this morning, gentlemen, and I hope that we can finish up by noon, and if we do not finish up exactly on time, I hope that we may continue on through the noon hour for a short while in order that we may complete the three witnesses so that we can go to the floor of the House, because there is some important legislation being considered this afternoon.

The first witness this morning will be Mr. Milo J. Warner, past national commander of the American Legion, Toledo, Ohio.

Tell us what you think of this bill, Mr. Warner, make your statement, and then we may want to ask you a few questions.

STATEMENT OF MILO J. WARNER, PAST NATIONAL COMMANDER

OF THE AMERICAN LEGION, TOLEDO, OHIO Mr. WARNER. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I have the happy privilege of appearing before you this morning in the capacity of a past national commander of the American Legion as the representative of National Commander Roane, Waring, who is unable to be present, and on behalf of the American Legion.

It is, I think, a waste of time, possibly, to tell you gentlemen of this committee of the long efforts over a period of 22 years that our organization has been coming to Congress with a universal service plan. I am sure that you are all very familiar with that and the history back of those efforts is recorded in the hearings of this committee. I feel that many of the members of the committee were members of the committee at the time the various bills were before it relating to universal service.

I should say that several distinguished chairmen of this committee, including the present chairman, Mr. May, have introduced bills from time to time at the request of the Legion providing such a plan. At the last national convention of the American Legion held at Kansas City, Mo., our universal service resolution urged immediate legislation providing for the drafting or conscription of all resources of the

Nation, including property, capital, labor, and industry, as well as the fighting manpower."

As a supplement to this the national convention adopted a resolution asking for the immediate enactment of a national service act, and I would like to have incorporated in the record copies of the two resolutions passed by the national convention of the American Legion at Kansas City.

The CHAIRMAN. That may be done.
(The resolutions referred to are as follows:)

LNationa

NATIONAL SERVICE ACT Whereas the American Legion has pledged itself to an all-out effort to win the war and for two decades has endeavored to secure the necessary legislation for a universal service law in order that all manpower may be available, whenever and wherever needed for the successful prosecution of war; and

Whereas the Congress has passed the National Selective Service Act for the securing of the necessary manpower for our armed forces; and

Whereas the time is now fast approaching when every citizen will be needed in support of our war effort: Therefore, be it

Resolved, That we urge the Congress of the United States to immediately pass a national service act to provide that the necessary manpower whenever and wherever it may be needed for war production, may be utilized and assigned.

UNIVERSAL SERVICE Whereas for more than 20 years the American Legion, representative of the veterans of the World War of 1917 and 1918, has advocated a universal service act providing for conscription in time of war of all the resources of the Nation, including capital, labor, industry, and agriculture as well as the fighting manpower of the country in order to prevent racketeering, profiteering, inflation, and sabotage in such time;

And whereas if this Nation is to be spared and our way of life is to continue, the sacrifices of all our citizens must be universal and equal: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That we demand of the national administration and Congress immediate legislation providing for the drafting or conscription of all the resources of this Nation, including capital, labor, industry, and agriculture as well as the fighting manpower, and be it further

Resolved, That such legislation be limited to apply only to a time of war and that the law provide for its termination when the period of war has passed, and be it further

Resolved, That the national legislative committee of the American Legion be instructed to cause legislation to be introduced into the Congress of the United States providing equal service for all and special profit for none, and be it further

Resolved, That the national commander of the American Legion be instructed to hold public meetings throughout our land in order to bring to the attention of all the citizens of our Nation the principles of universal service and thereby gain the necessary support that this may be immediately enacted into law, and we hereby call upon all Legionnaires to exert every effort to seeure public support for the Legion's universal service law.

Mr. WARNER. Now, preceding our entry into the present warand when I say “we” I am referring to the American Legion-we asked that such a system of universal service be enacted into law during peacetime so the immediate mobilization of all our material and manpower resources could be effected in the event of war.

The members of this committee know that much of the Legion's suggested universal plan has been accomplished since our entry into the war through legislation and Executive orders, but in piecemeal fashion.

Of course, we have the Selective Service Act, as amended, to provide the fighting manpower. Perhaps I may be permitted a little

personal reference here. I recall it was the year that I was commander that we had the battle over its extension. It was a very close one, and we of the American Legion felt quite proud to have been up with those battling for that extension in the front ranks. That was before we were in the war, of course. It was before we fully realized the situation that was bearing down upon us.

We feel that the Selective Service Act has been, on the whole, a very good act, and very well administered. The draft boards are entitled to a great deal of credit, and they are beginning to receive that credit which is rightly due them. We think that that should be considered and remembered in considering this bill because it is an amendment in effect to the selective-service bill, and is to be administered, if enacted into law, through selective-service processes.

Now, the Congress is making a serious attempt to take the profit out of war through tax laws, renegotiation of contracts and by congressional committees. We feel that all of those are very important. I would like very much to stress that last one--the congressional committees. You have enacted laws providing for the requisitioning of plants and property necessary for the successful prosecution of the war. There is a price-control law on the books. Also, there is in effect a program for the complete allocations control over all war and essential civilian production administered by the War Production Board.

Now, these are important phases of our suggested universal-service plan but one very important phase still remains, that is, control over manpower, and when I say "manpower," I am referring to that item in its larger sense. On February 8, 1943, as you gentlemen of course well know, identical bills were introduced in the House and Senate by Representative James W. Wadsworth, of New York, and Senator Warren Austin, of Vermont. I believe that the bill is H. R. 1742, and in the Senate 666.

This proposed legislation, if enacted by the Congress, would accomplish our request for a national service act. The Legion believes it is vital to the successful prosecution of the world-wide war in which we are now engaged.

Now, the Wadsworth bill, H. R. 1742, is designed to impose upon every able-bodied man and woman the legal obligation to serve where and when needed on the home front in order that industry and agriculture will be able to furnish the necessary munitions, food, and other things required for our armed forces, our allies, and the civilian population. The American Legion is happy to have a part in sponsoring this proposal.

Members of this committee have made a study of our manpower problem. Mr. Wadsworth has very ably explained this bill to you in detail. I will, therefore, refrain from burdening you with a discussion of the text of the measure.

The enactment of this legislation would not in any way interfere with or supersede the Selective Service System but would supplement it by providing manpower for all of our war needs. That I would like to stress. Also the provision in the bill that the President would first call for volunteers. The voluntary system is therefore used, but conscription immediately made effective by your enactment of the mechanics. Then if voluntary service is not sufficient to follow through with conscription after registration has been had of the man

86329–43-25

and woman power of the country, and they could be called in for service to perform services they can best perform where and when they can best be performed.

If a manpower shortage were filled through this method, the desired results will have been accomplished. That is, through the voluntary system. However, if it is found that compulsory methods are necessary, the President would have the power to use such methods.

It is difficult for us of the American Legion to understand the reasoning of anyone who may agree that it is proper and necessary to draft the youth of our Nation to fight in the armed services—in a war such as this where modern machines are inflicting losses of human life far beyond that of any conflict of the past-yet objects to the AustinWadsworth bill designed to provide a systematic and just plan which will assure the full mobilization of the manpower of this Nation. We believe it is vitally necessary to the success of our boys who are offering their lives on the battlefields, and I would like to say a word there. I feel, members of this committee, that we have been, and are still suffering--and it is natural--too great an extent of war flinch, if I may put it that way. It is just like a soldier who goes out and fires his gun.

He flinches from that recoil, and he gets off the target. It is just like anybody in a fight. We are in a fight. We are in total war, and if there is any flinch, thot delays the war, the winning of it, just that much longer. Let us deliver our punches and pull none of them without any flinch.

I say that because I think we all here from time to time passively think, "Well, it is not necessary yet; let us wait until it is necessary.' We do not like to, well, throw overboard-although I do not think that is quite the right phrase-some of our democratic principles of the voluntary system. We say, "When it is necessary, we will enact it.” I think that that is a form of war flinch.

Then you hear along with that the statement, "Well, while fighting the war we do not want to lose any of our democratic principles." I certainly pay obeisance to that thought myself, but at the same time may I humbly present this thought: I think that we jeopardize those democratic principles by failing to do the necessary things in order to shorten and win the war, because the longer the war lasts the more we are going to be punished and constantly suffer the losses of war. Our people will lose their loved ones. The senses will become deadened. I shudder to think what a war of 10 years or of a longer duration will bring about. Where are your democratic principles then? They are there, yes, but the senses are terribly deadened. The spirit of man and the body politic are deadened. Let us do everything that we can to win this war to a complete conclusion, but do it promptly and quickly, and let us do everything we can to accomplish that.

I feel that the passage of H. R. 1742, the Wadsworth-Austin bill, would go a long way toward accomplishing that, for it is effective full recognition of the fact that we are in a total war. We have to recognize that fact first.

Now, I understand that the Secretary of War has endorsed the Austin-Wadsworth bill in a letter addressed to the chairman of the Senate Military Affairs Committee. The Under Secretary of War, Robert P. Patterson, when asked his views on S. 666, the AustinWadsworth bill, stated: “I endorse this bill.”

« PreviousContinue »