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STATEMENT OF FRANKLIN G. CHAPIN, JR., SECRETARY AND GENERAL MANAGER OF THE
CHAS. E. CHAPIN CO., EAST RUTHERFORD, N. J.
This company is now engaged 100 percent in war work, manufacturing complete units for the aircraft industry which as sodanvir: valves, fuel-line strainers, drain cartridges, oil connections, control-rod ends, as well as carbon motor and generator bruses for industrial plant maintenince and shipping, etc.
We are operating on a 24-hour basis 542 days per week, having 91 people employed on the day shift, 7 a. m. to 7 p. m., and 22 men on the night shift, from 7 p. m. to 7 a. m. The night shift is on a split-shift basis of 6 hours each. The night shift is composed of Bergen County professional and businessmen, principally practicing lawyers. These men are operating turret lathes, hand-milling machines, and drill presses. Six weeks ago, at the time of their employment, these men had had 2 weeks' training in Bergen County Vocational Training School and an average of 1 month's experience in another plant.
Our experience with these men demonstrates that they show better than average skill and a high sense of responsibility regarding their jobs. These men are producing in 6 working hours substantially the same amount that our other workers of similar training and experience are producing. By the employment of parttime workers we have been able to stabilize our production program.
At the present time we have no certainty as to the continuance of this parttime workers' program because no maximum or minimum number of hours to be worked has been fixed by the Selective Service Act or regulations. Until this minimum or maximum number of hours to be worked in war industry is stabilized we shall be unable to expand our present part-time workers' program.
STATEMENT OF ANTHONY MEYER, JR.
As one of the members of the Bergen County Bar Association engaged in warproduction work at night, I have been continuously employed since our project was instituted 4 months ago. During that time I have worked each of the various shifts (7 p. m. to 1 a. m., 1 a. m. to 7 a. m.) and have operated the following machines: Turret lathes, bench lathes, engine lathes, milling machines, grinders, and single-purpose machines.
During all of this time I have been actively engaged in the regular general practice of law. My participation in the war-production program 6 hours each night has not in any way interfered with my professional activities.
Our group prepared for this work by attending the Bergen County Vocational Training School at Hackensack, N. J., where we learned the fundamentals of machine operation, blue-print reading, and other kindred subjects. Immediately upon concluding our course of instruction we were employed in a plant where we forthwith began the operation of the machines referred to above and others, including drill presses, inscribing machines, boring mills, etc.
As additional members of our group entered the plant from the school our members who had already gained shop experience became instructors for these new men. Many of our men are not only extremely proficient as operators but have gained sufficient knowledge of the various machines to set up the jobs.
Our men have met and exceeded the quotas set for the particular jobs to which they have been assigned, and frequent inspections have disclosed that they not only have been producing quantities but have been maintaining a high degree of quality. In most instances we work to fairly close tolerances, rarely exceeding five-one thousandths of an inch. In some instances there are no tolerances at all.
We have been informed by our shop foreman that our work compares very favorably with the work of persons of similar skill and training.
Without exception, the men participating in this program feel that they are making a definite contribution to the war effort. Absenteeism is negligable and exist only when forced by illness or other unavoidable circumstances.
Our men like the work and have enjoyed the contacts which they have made with the regular workers in the shop. Our relations with both management and labor have been excellent and there has not been the slightest friction between our group and the regular workers at any time since our program was instituted.
STATEMENT OF CONGRESSMAN WM. M. COLMER OF MISSISSIPPI BEFORE THE HOUSE
MILITARY AFFAIRS COMMITTEE APRIL 22, 1943, ON H. R. 992
Chairman May and members of the Military Affairs Committee, more than a month before the dastardly attack upon Pearl Harbor by the Japanese, and at a time when this country was beginning its preparedness for the European war which we all realized was more or less inevitable, and at which time our productive capacity was being curtailed by unjustified strikes, I introduced H. R. 6826, which was referred to this committee; but no action was taken thereon. At that time Mr. John L. Lewis, the president of the United Mine Workers, and possibly the most disturbing element in our industrial life today, was threatening to tie up the coal mines of the country in a general strike even as he is today. No action having been taken on the bill, and Mrs. Lewis' demands having been met, I reintroduced the bill at the beginning of this session of Congress. It was referred to this committee and is before you for consideration today along with a number of other bills of a more or less similar nature, seeking to meet the problem of strikes and the unwarranted interference in our war production industries, as well as to meet the manpower situation generally.
But before going into the merits of the bill, I hope that I may be pardoned for a brief recital of the motives which impel me to sponsor this type of legislation. I realize that any man in public life who is unwilling to be completely and uniformly subservient to the will of the dominating factors in the labor world is immediateiy branded as antilabor, as a labor hater, a plutocrat, and similar types of epithets.
Mr. Chairman, I was born in a small sawmill town, the son a skilled sawmill worker, who never made a better wage than $5 per day. At the age of 9 I began work in the sawmill yard for 50 cents per day and worked 12 hours a day. I worked my way through high school and college and have always had the interest of the laboring man at heart.
Prior to the beginning of our preparation for this war, which was grossly interfered with by unjustifiable strikes, I had been the voluntary recipient of the endorsement of the labor heads. I recall that on one occasion I was the only man from my delegation who voted for a bill in which labor was very much interested and brought down upon my head the condemnation of many of my constituents. But, Mr. Chairman, my code in this great crisis of the country, when the freedom of us all is involved, provides for sacrifice from us all. I believe that a man engaged in a war industry bas no more right to strike than a member of our armed forces has to desert the colors. I believe that the one's responsibility to his Government and his fellow citizens is as great as the other's. I believe that the services of the man who digs the coal, who makes the steel, and who manufactures the guns, ships, and planes are just as necessary, and that he is just as patriotic, as the man who dons the uniform, who fires the guns, and who sail the ships of war. But by the same token his obligation to his country and to his fellow man is just as sacred.
I stated a moment ago as a cardinal principle of my philosophy that a man engaged in a war industry had no inore right to strike against his Government than a member of the armed forces had to desert the colors. I say with equal force and truth that no man has a right to grow rich out of the blood, the sweat, and the tears of our war effort. Section 4 of my bill provides for a limitation of 6 percent profits upon war contracts. This is an arbitrary figure, and I confess that the administration of such a provision would be more or less dif. ficult. Possibly a sliding scale of a smaller profit on larger contracts and a larger profit on smaller contracts might be more effective. But in no event should any man he permitted to become a millionaire out of the profits of this war. And, frankiy, I do not think that it is possible for him to do so even now under our tax structure. But in any event there should be a sharp limitation upon his profits. The wealthy of the country should be required to sacrifice just as the soldier, the sailor, and the laborer are sacrificing.
EXPLANATION OF THE BILL
My bill would seek to do four things :
First, it would make a conspiracy to bring about a strike in a war industry unlawful and punishable by fine or imprisonment, or both.
Second, it would automatically reclassify a man within draft age enjoying deferment from active service, regardless of the grounds for his deferment, and make him subject to immediate military service if while employed in a war industry he went on strike.
Third, it would repeal the 40-hour week for the duration.
Fourth, it would limit the profits gained from war contracts by the war contractors to a maximum of 6 percent.
That, Mr. Chairman, is briefly what my bill provides. You have a number of other bills under consideration. I have no pride of authorship and would not insist upon the reporting of my bill. In fact, I should be perfectly agreeable to seeing this committee report its own bill, provided it would meet the problem which faces the country in its war effort. If the labor features of my bill were all stricken with the exception of the conspiracy feature, I think that would meet the situation, for if it were unlawful to conspire to bring about a strike there would be no strikes in war industries. My bill, of course, is limited in its effect for the duration only. After the war there will be no need for it; it would be of no avail and should not be in effect for I believe in labor wions. I believe in their right to organize, and I believe in the right to exerrise the weapon of strike in peacetime where that becomes necessary. But, I repeat. the right to strike against one's government in time of war does not prist and has no place in the war picture.
We hear a lot today about the no-strike compact which was entered into by the labor heads and the Government. And yet statistics reveal the fact that there have been hundreds of strikes in vital war industries since third time. The labor leaders' answer to that is that these are “wildcat" strikes over which they have no control-that they do not approve or condone them. And yet they object to the Government stopping them. It is difficult to understand why these labor leaders who say that there will be no strikes would object to the Government's assistance to them in carrying out their part of the compact. It seems rather to me that they should welcome such assistance.
I said that the labor leaders had agreed to desist from strikes, but that did not mean all of them for we read a few days ago that Mr. John L. Lawis said that he and his organization were not bound by that compact.
Again, the argument is made that any legislation which woulil attempt to curtail these “wildcat" or other strikes, which latter class labor has covenanted with this Government not to call, would be unwise, untimely, and a slap in the face of labor. This, again, is hard to reason. Why could it not be argued with equal force that the law against sabotage and saboteurs which was recently passed by the Congress was objectionable to all patriotic Americans? Or to carry the analogy further to an absurdity, one might just as well argue that laws against murder should not be enacted because they would become offensive to honest, God-fearing men. But to make the comparison still more analogous, why could it not be argued with equal fervor that the Selective Service Act which drafts young men into the armed service is an insult to them?
I am one of those who believe that the average laboring man engaged in a war industry is just as patriotic as the average young man who bares his breast to the enemy upon the seven seas or upon foreign soil. I believe that he wants to see this war won as speedily and quickly as anyone else. I beliere that he is against strikes in defense industries. I believe that he wants to keep the faith with the boys over there. And, more than that, I believe that he is entitled to the protection of his Government in his desire to do an honest day's work in an honest fashion to the end that this war may be speedily consummated by his efforts in furnishing the fighting boys with the sinews of war. Moreorer, I believe that he realizes that he has possibly more at stake than anybody else involved because he realizes that if we should lose this war the right to organize and the right to high standards of labor in this country may both be lost and that he, too, may become a human token on the slave markets of Berlin, Tokyo, and Rome.
Permit me, my colleagues, in conclusion to state that I am no labor hater. I am a labor lover, if one of these appelations must stand. Labor, through long years of up-hill fighting, has succeeded in winning many justifiable improvements in the righ to live comfortably, to educate their children, and to enjoy a standard of living enjoyed by the labors of no other country in the world. Of that fact I am proud; I hope it will always be thus. I do not want to see labor destroyed and this great progress crucified. But labor, like every other segment of our people, is amenable to public opinion. It cannot survive without the healthy support of public opinion. Labor, therefore, if it is to progress and endure must be responsive to the greatest power in a democracy--public opinion. And if these strikes in war industries continue, and if those leaders responsible to labor continue to permit strikes in these war industries, like the all-powerful Samson, labor will surely pull the temple down upon its own head.
Mr. Chairman and members of the committee, I am very grateful to you for this opportunity given me to make this brief statement in behalf of my bill.
STATEMENT OF Mrs. AGNES WATERS, MOTHERS ASSOCIATION, ON APRIL 6, 1943
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Waters, could you give us an idea of how much time you think you would want?
Mrs. WATERS. Senator, I can tell you I could talk for weeks against this bill.
The CHAIRMAN. The reason I make this inquiry is I have an appointment with General Marshall at 12 o'clock, and it is really going to be necessary for me to keep that appointment. I will give you just all the time you want.
Mrs. WATERS. I want all the time I can have. I really have a case against the bill. I not only have a case against the bill, but I have got a program to win the war that I certainly want you to hear. It involves some of the programs you suggested for national defense in 1936.
The CHAIRMAN. I am very anxious to here you, and I am sure Senator Austin and other members of the committee would like to hear you.
Mrs. WATERS. I feel quite at home with both of you.
The CHAIRMAN. Of course, I want to be just as courteous to you as I can by allotting you all the time you want, as we want to allot to every other witness the time they want, that they feel they would require in discussing this bill, either for it or against it, or whether they are neutral and are desirous of making any suggestins its to amendments, and so forth.
Senator, in view of the fact that I have that appointment, what is your suggestion? Would it be agreeable with you to recess now?
Senator Justin. That is all right with me.
Mis WATERS. I want to suggest that I speak the first thing tomorrow morning, for this reason: I have some mothers who are associated with me in this work, who have always been my best buddies in the fight. We have spoken on many public platforms all over the country. Mrs. John Brown, of Philadelphia, it woman of great patriotism, a mother of two sons, she is head of the Crusading Mothers of Pennsylvania. They are affiliated with millions of mothers all over the country. I have, at their request, appeared here and appeared in other committees. Mrs. Lillian Parks represents the National Organization of Mothers, with whom I am affiliated, and Mrs. John Brown, of Pennsylvania, are here.
The ('ILJIRMAN. They are ladies here from Pennsylvania ?
Vrs. WATERS. Yes. They prefer I should speak first, they said, and then they would follow me.
The ('HAIRMAN. Do you know Mr. Madden?
Mrs. "V ATERS. I do not. I would like to have my own group in first, and then any other witnesses.
The ('ILAIRMAN. If it is greeable to Senator Austin.
Virs. WATERS. I have present in the committee room this morning a man, the most important witness for national defense. He is from Costa Rica, where they are flooding the area with Nazis and Japs, who are buying the territory all along the highway that the military authorities are building in the Central American republics. He would give you a very important and very pertinent statement today. It would not take more than 15 minutes. He must leave for Costa Rica. He has all his passports ready to go. Could he have 15 minutes today?
The CHAIRM.IN. What connection would that have with the question of manpower?
Mrs. WATERS. It has something to do with the program we are offering. In respect to manpower, we are now flooding this country with immigrants from those countries who are taking over all the jobs that our boys are leaving by going out to fight to maintain the country on the Monroe Doctrine. So I suggest --and I am making it a point in my program-that we take over those countries, since we carry them on our books, we collect their taxes, and they should be made to fight for us. Instead of the boys losing their lives for those people, those people ought to be made to do their own fighting. The menace to us is they are not doing their own fighting; we are doing it for them. Only 1,500 miles from Brazil is Dakar, and I want to call your attention to the fact that Central America is flooded with Nazis and Japs at the present moment, who are inundating the country, to our menace, while our people are asleep. They are basking in the sun fattening on our blood, on our work, and on our money. We are earrying them on our backs. We are building the road at the expense of the taxpayers of the United States, and that roadbed is going to be used for the purpose of menacing this country. May he have 15 minutes?
The CHAIRMAN. He has not been scheduled for appearance this morning. I have an appointment with General Marshall at 12 o'clock, and I have to go down town to keep that appointment. It is now 20 minutes to 12. The statement is not pertinent, I hardly think, to the question of manpower as it particularly relates to the contents of the bill before us at the present time. If the gentleman is desirous of being heard I will be glad to endeavor to find 30 minutes for him some time within the next week or two. Of course, you know, Mrs. Waters, how busy we are, all of us. None of us can ever attend to any personal matters at all. Insofar as official matters are concerned, we have so many that we can only do about 20 percent of the work properly. Is not that true, Senator Austin?
Senator AUSTIN. That is right.
Mrs. WATERS. May I interrupt you a moment to say this: I think the question before the Senate committee is how best to win the war. That is the question, and you are taking the wrong methods in this bill.
The CHAIRMAN. We are going to give you all the time you want. I will do that even if I have to take off Sunday to hear you.
Mrs. WATERS. That will be fine.
The CHAIRMAN. I will be glad to work on Saturday. I am anxious to hear what you have to say.
Mrs. WATERS. Yes.
The CHAIRMAN. I make that explanation so you will not feel that we are trying to sidestep your testimony.
Mrs. WATERS. I appreciate that very much; I know that.
The CHAIRMAN. I know you cannot say what you have to say in a few minutes. You have been waiting for weeks to be heard. It has been the policy of Senator Austin, the author of the bill, and the Chair, and members of the committee to provide all who are desirous of being heard the opportunity to be heard to the extent that they really feel they should have to properly make an explanation.
Mrs. WATERS. I hope I will not bore you, and I shall be as short as possible, but I feel that such an important question before the committee involves the lives of every person in America. We have so few persons who come here. They are not able to come on account of the expense. They have asked me to speak for them, so I ask that I may have all the time that I feel is necessary.
The CHAIRMAN. That will be perfectly agreeable with me.
Mrs. WATERS. Can I also ask Senator Austin's permission that this gentleman may insert a little pamphlet showing the conditions of the Nazi and Jap invasion of the countries we are protecting?
Senator AUSTIN. Let me see the pamphlet.
The CHAIRMAN. That being the case, the committee will recess until tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock. If you will be in at 10 o'clock we will be glad to hear you.
(Mrs. Waters was next heard on April 8, 1943, and also on April 13, 1943.)
(Whereupon, at 11:45 a. m., the committee recessed until 10 a. m. of the following day, Wednesday, April 7, 1943.)
The (HAIRMAN. Now, Mrs. Waters, you can go on for a few minutes, and then if you want more time we can set another date for you.
STATEMENT OF MRS. AGNES WATERS, MOTHERS' ASSOCIATION, APRIL 8, 1943
Mrs. WATERS. Mr. Chairman and members of the committee: My name is Mrs. Agnes Waters. Mr. address is 3267 N Street NW., Washington. D. C. I am the legislative representative of millions of American women, free, unregimentized mothers of America, living in every State in the Union, who are most vigorously opposed to this bill. This bill would lose the war; and we are vitally interested in winning this war, for we have voluntarily laid on the altar of liberty in both the First and Second World Wars the costliest hostages to fortune, and we are voluntarily continuing to do so.