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Meanwhile a series of orders required all women between the ages of 22 and 31 to register for employment. Married women with children and women already engaged in essential war work were exempted, but it was officially explained that women in nonessential occupations, such as domestic servants, hairdressers, and typists, would be allocated to essential war work.
A general mobilization act was promulgated in China on March 29, 1942, and put into effect May 5 for the purpose of systematizing earlier measures for mobilizing the human resources of the nation, which were largely on a voluntary basis.
The act gave the Government wide powers “for the purpose of concentrating and employing the entire nation's human and material power in time of war, to bolster the national defense and to attain the war aims."
Conscription of labor for war work is provided in the act, which stipulates that "the Government should make approximate distribution in accordance with the sex, physique, educacion, skill, experience, and original occupations."
The number of persons who may be employed in any one business or home is restricted; the Government is given power to readjust wages and working conditions; labor disputes, lock-outs, and strikes may be controlled by the Government when necessary for war production, and membership in guilds and professional organizations may be made compulsory by the Government.
In announcing the decree, Generalissimo Chiang Kai-shek quoted Dr. Sun Yat-sen to the effect that the people were called to "offer their abilities” and to “sacrifice individual freedom for the protection of our national freedom and the freedom of humanity.”
A national general mobilization council was set up to execute the provisions of the act.
March 24, 1943.-Women are to be conscripted for the first time in China's history. A law just announced requires that all women between the ages of 18 and 45 join one of the auxiliary services for the duration of the war.
Germany is the outstanding example of a nation that has not only mobilized every available man-hour of its own population, but has herded millions of foreigners and prisoners of war into its factories under conditions of virtual slave labor.
The British Ministry of Economic Warfare estimated on December 16 last, that Germany had 16,000,000 women working in industry, as against 7,600,000 at the outbreak of the war. The number of foreign workers in the Reich was placed by the Frankfurter Zeitung in the autumn of 1942 at 5,500,000, with a prediction that the total would soon pass 6,000,000. In addition, more than 1,000,000 prisoners of war were being used for agricultural labor by the Nazis.
Mobilization of her own labor force had been carried by the Reich to a high point during the rearmament drive before the Nazis lashed out in the first blow of the war. As early as August 10, 1934, a decree vested in the national employment service exclusive authority for allocating and transferring labor, and the National Defense Act of May 21, 1935, provided that men and women might be called upon to perform work of national importance.
Compulsory labor service for young men and women was instituted in 1938, and was widely extended during the feverish building of the West Wall at the time of the Munich crisis.
On the day that Hitler sent his legions into Poland, September 1, 1939, the National Defense Council issued a general order imposing restrictions on changes of employment without permission of the employment service. Three days later à war economy order required labor trustees to fix maximum wage rates and working conditions; abolished all increased rates of pay for overtime, Sunday or holiday work, and ended restrictions on the length of the working day for nien. For women it was fixed at 10 hours a day and 56 hours a week.
Germany began the war with a system of indefinite deferments of highly skilled workers in war industries, which was supplemented by the demobilization of soldiers for war work between campaigns. But the tremendous losses on the Russian front forced the abandonment of this system, which was replaced at the end of 1941 by one of individual deferment. The worker who exemption from military service was sought had to convince a manpower board that he was indispensable in his job.
SLAVE LABOR IN THE NIZI-OCCUPIED COUNTRIES On August 22, 1912, Dr. Fritz Sauckel, German General Controller of Labor, issued a decree laying down general rules to be observed with regard to employment and conditions of work in Nazi-occupied countries. He fixed the following priority order for the allocation of available labor:
1. Needs of the military and civilian services of the occupying authority.
4. Needs of undertakings producing goods for the population of the occupied territories.
Non-German workers must work the same hours as German workers, in no case less than 54 hours a week, and must produce the same amount of goods as German workers, the decree said. It provided they would be subject to the same. labor discipline as German workers. Workers not needed in one locality were ordered placed at the disposal of employment authorities in other localities.
Nazi Germany has set a ruthless pattern which cannot be met with half-way measures. Can the United States, facing a struggle to the death with a nation that has put millions of slave laborers under the lash, afford to waste its own manpower for lack of a clear policy?
ITALY The Fascist Labor Charter, adopted in 1928, laid down the principle that work was a '"social duty.” The Italian Government placed the country's system of labor exchanges firmly under Fascist control by providing that the chairmen of these exchanges should be the local secretaries of the Fascist Party.
Employers were legally bound to report to their labor exchange the dismissal or leaving of any employee, with a statement of the reason, the type of work done, and the length of service.
An agreement with Germany which was negotiated in February 1941 provided for setting up committees in February 1941 provided for setting up committees in each province to select skilled metal workers for transfer to Germany.
A Royal decree of March 20, 1941, empowered the Minister of Corporations to fix hours of work and pay for the duration of the war. In April two orders were announced by the Ministry. One increased the length of the working day for agricultural labor to 2 hours more than normal; the other placed skilled workers in essential industries, such as metal-working, on a 6-day, 72-hour weekly basis.
Japan has been facing an acute labor shortage for 2 years, but her problems differs considerably from those of the Western powers because her army has been built up largely from her agricultural population and consequently has not disrupted her industrial functionings.
A general mobilization act of April 1, 1938, gave the Government wide powers for the control of the “human and material resources of the state.”
The 400 state-managed employment exchanges were given the tasks of organizing vocational training and transferring workers from one industry to another.
Compulsory labor service for all Japanese subjects was instituten on July 7, 1939. On that date the public employment exchanges were instructed to gather data concerning the vocational qualifications, physical capacity, family circumstances, and personal wishes of all workers. With this data in hand they were ordered to prepare plans for the most efficient use of the labor supply.
The Japanese Government abolished trade unions (which had a membership of 605,000), and political parties in the summer of 1940, and a government-dominated league confiscated their treasuries. Japanese workers must now belong to the Japanese Patriotic Industrial Society, known as Sampo.
In January 1943 the British Broadcasting Corporation reported that the Japanese radio had said that workers were averaging 60 to 70 hours of work a week.
Japan, spurred by bitter determination to crush this country until she can “dictate peace from the White House,” is extorting the last bit of energy from every nerve and sinew of her people. No toil is too great as the Japanese strive to erect their New Order of Great East Asia. Can we fight this relentless foe • on any but an all-out basis?
Mr. BELL. May I also offer for the record a letter directed to you, dated March 8, 1913, from Mr. Thomas Reed Powell, professor of
constitutional law at Harvard University, pertaining to the consti-
The CHAIRMAN. That may be put in the record.
LAW SCHOOL OF HARVARD UNIVERSITY,
Cambridge, Mass., March 8, 1943.
House of Representatives, Washington, D. C.
Obviously the war power itself knows no such distinction. It is the most far-reaching and the most unlimited power of government. Without the products of the farm and the factory, there could be no combat on the field, in the air, or on the sea. No one would contend that the Government could not draft men and women for production as well as for destruction. To hamper such an effort by requiring the Government to take over all farms and factories before it could compel essential labor would impose a crippling limitation without any shadow of constitutional warrant in any conception of the war power. Granted that the end to be attained is within this power, so is the choice of means reasonably related to this end.
The only objection adduced against such a use of the war power is sought to be derived from the thirteenth amendment which provides :
"Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”
As Mr. Justice Brown pointed out in Robertson v. Baldwin (165 U. S. 275) :
"The amendment, however, makes no distinction between public and private service. To say that persons engaged in a public service are not within the amendment is to admit that there are exceptions to its general language, and the further question is at once presented, where shall the line be drawn?”
The Supreme Court in this case drew the line at seamen and held that they could be forced to return to their ships. The decision was not based on the fact of initial voluntary entrance into the service, for it was recognized that such a ground would sanction all sorts of peonage following an initial contract. The basis of the decision was history and necessity and the essentiality of the seaman's continuous service.
Such compulsory service of seamen in time of peace obviously presents no such pressing case of necessity as compulsory service in production in time of war. With this decision as a precedent, it is wholly inconceivable that the Supreme Court would have the effrontery to hold that the Nation in its lawful endeavor to secure the full production essential to military victory can do so only by adopting the extreme means of complete military conscription under direct Government ownership or management. The conceded constitutionality of this complete and drastic exercise of the war power must inevitably require sanction of the more moderate expedient now under consideration of establishing by congressional action a legal obligation resting upon every adult citizen to promote the greatest possible effectiveness of all existing instrumentalities of both capital and labor by rendering such personal service in aid of the war effort as each may be deemed best fitted to perform. Respectfully yours,
THOMAS REED POWELL. Mr. BELL. May I also offer for the record editorials in newspapers throughout the country, pertaining to the attitude of labor toward the Austin-Wadsworth bill?
The CHAIRMAN. Is that very long?
(The editorials are as follows:)
[Press release supplied by Citizens Committee for a National War Service Act,
for immediate use]
WASHINGTON.—A summary of editorial comment in daily newspapers throughout America in favor of manpower legislation such as provided by the AustinWadsworth bill was made public by the citizens committee for a National War Service Act.
Excerpts are as follows:
"It is highly disappointing that William Green, as a spokesman of labor, takes the wrong road when it comes to the test of endorsing or not endorsing the Austin-Wadsworth bill.
When he appeared before a congressional committee Mr. Green dragged out the old moth-eaten argument about free labor versus slave labor, and used again the 'involuntary servitude' phrase. What does Congress honestly thing about that?
The House endorses this involuntary servitude for farm labor to meet the farm labor shortage, but there must be a great ado and fuss when the same method is to be applied to a broad bill that would accomplish some solution of the general manpower problem, not just muddle the thing as this farm exemption does. We are drifting further and furtber on the manpower question, and that is serious.
If we can assign men to the battle line we can assign them to jobs if certain work has to go on to supply the battle line. The voluntary way is better, of course, but America in total warfare must be prepared against every contingency. Enactment of the law would help to keep the voluntary plan working rather than to hinder it. The time to pass the Austin-Wadsworth bill is now."
Waltham (Mass.) News-Tribune:
"The waste of manpower resulting from lack of any consistent over-all program argues for the necessity for Congress to act on the Austin-Wadsworth manpower draft bill, which has met with general approval, notwithstanding some noteworthy objections,
Let us have a congressional declaration, and keep the draft clean."
St. Paul (Minn.) Pioneer Press :
"Compulsory control over manpower may become an absolute national necessity. There certainly can be no more objection to it here than there is in Great Britain, where the manpower problem has been solved without important objection. At a time when the wages, hours, and conditions of labor are so closely regulated by the Government, it does not appear unreasonable for the same Government to undertake to say which jobs must be filled by what persons in order to meet a national emergency.”
Kansas City (Mo.) Times:
"Obviously, it would be slavery to draft a man to be, let us say, Mr. Kaiser's butler, or a woman to be Mrs. Luce's cook. But is it slavery to draft an ablebodied man and pay him the prevailing wage to work in one of Mr. Kaiser's shipyards? Mr. Green is entitled, if he likes, to say that it is administratively difficult. But is he entitled to say it is slavery? If working in Mr. Kaiser's shipyards is not essential to the war, why do we spend money on his shipyards, why do we defer men from military service to keep them working in one of his shipyards? If Mr. Kaiser's shipyards are not vital to the war, why do we bother with them? If they are vital to the war, how, then, can we, who draft men for the Army, say it is slavery to draft men to build ships?"
Fund Du Lac (Wis.) Commonwealth Reporter:
"It is becoming apparent beyond controversy that manpower must be found or better use of manpower must be made if the United States is to maintain sufficient productive capacity to arm and feed its own and other anti-Axis forces and at the same time put from ten to eleven million men into the armed services."
Charlottesville (Va.) Progress :
“It is logical enough to argue that if men between 18 and 38 can be taken from their homes and their occupations for military service, then certainly there is nothing wrong with taking other men and women for equally essential civilian service. And there is plenty of evidence to support the contention that such a course is not only just but necessary."
Huntington (Ind.) Herald-Press:
“Manpower problems are getting into such a tangle that they will defy solution unless taken in hand quickly. So far as can be observed from this distance,
Representative Wadsworth was stating the simple truth when he told the Senate Military Affairs Committee that 'chaotic conditions in Federal agencies have stalemated formulation of an intelligent and workable manpower policy.'”
Greenville (S. C.) News:
“The people of this country do not, of course. like the idea of compulsion in assignment to jobs under any except emergency conditions; but that is what we have today and under such circumstance we believe the great majority of the patriotic citizens will actually welcome the adoption of a policy of this kind
* The British experience has been that the compulsory features of the law have very seldom had to be resorted to; and we believe that would be the way things would work out here."
Glens Falls (N. Y.) Times:
"Speaking in a strictly logical manner, there is no difference in principle between tapping a man on the shoulder and sending him to the jungles of the South Pacitic isles, and tapping a man on the shoulder and sending him into a munitions plant. But things alike in principle are sometimes different in practice. The draft for the armed forces works; and it is employed because it is necessary. A volunteer system would not fill the ranks on the battle line. The draft of workers might fill the ranks on the assembly line but might not work. At all events nothing but stern necessity should lead to its adoption."
Albany (Ga.) Herald:
"Another strong argument in favor of the adoption of this legislation was made by Mr. Patterson when he said that its prompt enactment would ‘mitigate the loss of life on the fighting front.' Every father and mother with a boy on the fighting front will feel the tug on the heartstrings which that assertion makes."
Peoria (Ill.) Star:
"But it would seem more in the democratic way to have action by Congress in this matter, after its own impartial investigation, then to have this perversion of the draft system. Even though many Members of Congress have repeatedly and emphatically stated that attempts to make men work where Mr. McNutt thinks they should work, rather than where they themselves want to be of service, is contrary to the American way; seems a better and fairer choice than having impending military service used as a sword over the workers' head.”
Amsterdam (N. Y.) Recorder:
“We cannot understand the attitude toward this proposed measure exhibited by President William Green, of the American Federation of Labor, who holds that the Austin-Wadsworth bill 'imposes involuntary servitude in violation of the thirteenth amendment to the Constitution and in violation of our basic and most cherished concepts of freedom.' If that be true, then it is also true that drafting men for the Army or the Navy is a violation of the thirteenth amendment. Mr. Green puts himself in the position of saying that there shall be one law for the soldier and the sailor and another for the worker in industry.”
Birmingham (Ala.) Age-Herald :
"Our soldiers are certainly not slave soldiers'; nor would our workers have to be 'slave workers' under a general service act, aimed at greater order and efficiency in the use of our manpower.”
Jacksonville (Ill.) Courier:
"There never was a bigger mess in the country than the manpower situation at present. Fathers are being kept on edge as to the draft status; McNutt says one thing and contradicts it a few days later. Congress tries to settle it by legislation, but nobody knows whether the laws will be passed or whether they will be changed before passage. And it stands to reason that if the Army says we must have 7,500,000 enlisted men by the end of the year we must have them. We can't win a war by having civilians decide Army problems."
Pasadena (Calif.) Post:
"The issue, then, is whether present manpower controls are working well enough to get the big job done. Mr. McNutt would agree with Mr. Stimson, Senator Austin, and Congressman Wadsworth that getting the job done is the controlling consideration."
Missoula (Mont.) Sentinel :
"If there is any answer to our manpower problem, other than the draft, let us find it at once. If there is not, there should be no hesitation in passage of this draft bill. War is something that cannot be muddled through without leaving terrible after effects. Procrastination means further suffering at home and in the ranks, mounting war costs, and more deaths among our armed services.”