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Evening star. [volume] (Washington, D.C.) 1854-1972, March 07, 1947, Image 7

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Excerpts From Lewis Coal Case Opinions
* .. , 9 - —‘ . - - . ■» . ..1
Supreme Court Rules
Against Mine Chief on
Contempt and Fines
Following are textual excerpts
from the opinions of Supreme
Court justices ip the John L.
Lewis case:
CHIEF JUSTICE VINSON.
(The Majority Decision.)
In October, 1946, the United
States was in possession of, and
operating, the major portion of the
country’s bituminous coal mines.
Terms and conditions o^ employ
ment were controlled “for the pe
riod of Government possession'’ by
an agreement entered into on May
29, 1946, between Secretary of In
terior Krug, as Coal Mines Admin
istrator, and John L. Lewis, as
president of the United Mine Work
ers of America. • * *
On October 21,1946, the defendant
Lewis directed a letter to Secretary
Krug and presented issues which
led directly to the present contro
versy. According to the defendant
Lewis, the Krug-Lewis agreement
carried forward article 15 of the
National Bituminous Coal Wage
Agreement of April 11, 1945. Under
that section either party to the con
tract was privileged to give 10 days’
notice in writing of a desire for a
negotiating conference which the
other party was required to attend;
15 days after the beginning of the
conference either party might give
notice in writing of the termination
of the agreement, effective five days
after receipt of such notice. As
serting authority under this clause,
the defendant Lewis in his letter of
October 21 requested that a con
ference begin November 1 for the
purpose of negotiating new ar
rangements concerning wages,
hours, practices, and other pertinent
matters appertaining to the bitu
minous coal industry.
Captain N. H. Collisson, then
Coal Mines Administrator, answered
for Secretary Krug. Any contract
ual basis for requiring negotiations
for revision of the Krug-Lewis
agreement was denied. In the opin
ion of the Government, article 15
of the 1945 agreement had not been
preserved by the Krug-Lewis agree
ment; indeed, article 15 had been
expressly nullified by the clause of
the latter contract providing that
the terms contained therein were to
cover the period of Government
possession. * * * On November 15 the
union, by John L. Lewis, notified
Secretary Krug that “15 days having
now elapsed since the beginning of
said conference, the United Mine
Workers of America, exercising its
option hereby terminates said Krug
Lewis agreement as of 12 o'clock
p.m. midnight, Wednesday, Novem
ber 20, 1946..
U. S. Complaint Filed.
The United States on November
18 filed a complaint in the District
Court for the District of Columbia
against the United Mine Workers of
America and 'John L. Lewis, indi
vidually and as president of the
union. The suit was brought under
the Declaratory Judgment Act and
sought judgment to the effect that
the defendants had no power uni
laterally to terminate the Krug
Lewia agreement. * * * JL
The court, immediately and With
out notice to the defendants, issued
a temporary order restraining the
defendants from continuing in ef
fect the notice of November 15. * * *
A gradual walkout by the miners
commenced on November 18, and, by
midnight of November 20, consistent
with the miners’ “no contract, no
work’’ policy, a full-blown strike was
in progress. * * *
On November 21 the United States
filed a petition for a rule to show
cause why defendants should not
be punished as and for contempt,
alleging a willful violation of the
restraining order. The rule issued,
setting November 25 as the return
day and, if at that time the con
tempt was not sufficiently purged,
setting November 27 as the day for
trial on the contempt charge.
On the return day. defendants,
by counsel, informed the court that
no action had been taken concern
ing the November 15 notice and
denied the jurisdiction of the court
to issue the restraining order and
rule to show cause. Trial on the
contempt charge was thereupon
ordered to begin as scheduled on
November 26, the defendants filed
a motion to discharge and vacate
the rule to show cause. Their
motion challenged the jurisdiction of
the court and raised the grave ques
tion of whether the Norris-Laguar
dia Act prohibited the granting of
the temporary restraining order at
the instance of the United States.
After extending the temporary
restraining order on November 27,
and after full argument on Novem
ber 27 and November 29, the court,
on the latter date, over-ruled the
motion and held that its power to
issue the restraining order in this
case was not affected by either the
Norris-La Guardia Act or the Clay
ton Act.
Tried on Contempt Charge.
The defendants thereupon plekded
not guilty and waived an advisory
jury. Trial on the contempt charge
proceeded. • • * At the conclusion
of the trial on December 3, * * *
both defendants were found guilty
beyond reasonable doubt of both
criminal and civil contempt dating
from November 18. The court en
tered judgment on December 4, fin
ing the defendant Lewis $10,000 and
the defendant union $3,500,000. * * *
Defendants’ first and principal
contention is that the restraining
order and preliminary injunction
were issued in violation of the Clay
ton and Norris-La Guardia Acts.
We have come to a contrary deci
sion.
It is true that Congress decreed
in Article 20 of the Clayton Act
that “no such restraining order or
injunction shall prohibit any person
or persons * * * from recommend
ing, advising, or persuading others
• * *” to strike. But by the act
itself, this provision was made ap
plicable only to cases “between an
employer and employes, or between
employers and employes, or between
employes, or between persons em
ployed and persons seeking employ
ment. • * •” For reasons which will
be explained at greater length in
discussing the applicability of the
Norris-La Guardia Act, we cannot
construe the general term "em
ployer’' to include the United States,
where there is no express reference
to the United States and no evi
dent affirmative grounds for believ
ing that Congress intended to with
hold an otherwise available remedy
from the Government as well as
from a specified class of private
persons. * * *
By the Norris-La Guardia Act,
Congress divested the Federal
courts of jurisdiction to issue in
junctions in a specified class of
cases. It would probably be con
ceded that the characteristics of
the present case would be such as
to bring it within the class if the
basic dispute had remained one be
tween defendants and a private em
ployer, and the latter had been the
plaintiff below. • * • There is an
old and well-known rule that
statutes which in general terms di
vest pre-existing rights or privi
leges will not be applied to the
sovereign without express words to
that effect. * * * Congress would
not, in writing the Norris-La Guar
dia Act, omit to use “clear and spe
cific (language) to that effect” if it
actually intended to reach the Gov
ernment in all cases. * * *
Congress’ Intent Considered.
* * * We think that Congress’
failure to refer to the United States
or to specify any role which it
might commonly be thought to fill
is strong indication that it did not
intend that the act should apply to
situations in which United States
appears as employer. • * *
In debates in both houses of Con
gress, numerous references were
made to previous instances in which
the United States had resorted to
the injunctive process in labor dis
putes between private employers and
private employes, where some pub
lic interest was thought to have be
come involved. These instances were
offered as illustrations of the abuses
flowing from the use of injunctions
in labor disputes and the desirability
of placing a limitation thereon. The
frequency of these references and
the attention directed to their sub
ject matter are compelling circum
stances. We agree that they indi
cate that Congress, in passing the
act, did not intend to permit the
United States to continue to inter
vene by injunction in purely private
labor disputes.
But whether Congress so intended
or not is a question different from
the one before us now. Here we
are concerned only with the Gov
ernment's right to injunctive relief
in a dispute with its own employes.
* * *
It has been suggested, however,
that Congress in passing the War
Labor Disputes Act, effectively re
stricted the theretofore existing
authority of the courts to issue in
junctions in connection with labor
disputes in plants seized by the
United States. Chief reliance is
placed upon the rejection by the
Senate of Article 5 of the Connally
substitute bill. But it is clear that
no. comparable action transpired
tin the House. Indeed, proposals in
the House and the House substitute
for S. 796 authorized the use of in
junctions in connection with private
plants not yet seized by the United
States. These admitted inroads
on the Norris-La Guardia Act drew
much comment on the floor of the
House, but nevertheless prevailed.
* * ’
We thus find nothing in the legis
lative background of the War Labor
Disputes Act which constitutes an
authoritative expression of Congress
directing the courts to withhold
from the United States injunctive
relief in connection with an act de
signed to strengthen the hand of the
Government in serious labor dis
putes.
Defendants’ Contention.
The defendants contend, however,
that workers in mines seized by the
Government are not employes of the
Federal Government; that In oper
ating the mines thus seized, the
Government is not engaged in a
sovereign function, and that, con
sequently, the situation in this case
does not fall within the area which
we have indicated as lying outside
the scope of the Norris- La Guardia
Act. It is clear, however, that
workers in the mines seized by the
Government under the authority of
the War Labor Disputes Act stand
in an entirely different relationship
to the Federal Government with re
spect to their employment from that
which existed before the seizure was
effected. • * *
The question with which we are
confronted is not whether the work
ers in mines under Government seiz
ure are “employes” of the Federal
Government for every purpose which
might be conceived, but whether, for
the purposes of this case, the inci
dents of the relationship existing
between the Government and the
workers are those of governmental
employer and employe. * * *
We hold that in a case such as
this, where the Government has
seized actual possession of the mines,
or other facilities, and is operating
them, and the relationship between
the Government and the workers is
that of employer and employe, the
Norris-La Guardia Act does not ap
ply.
The temporary restraining order
was served on November 18. This
was roughly two and one-half days
before the strike was to begin. The
defendants filed no motion to vacate
the order. Rather, they ignored It,
and allowed a Nation-wide coal
strike to become an accomplished
j fact. This court has used unequivo
cal language in condemning such
conduct, and * * * has provided pro
| lection for judical authority in situ
ations of this kind.
• In this case before us, the District
i Court had the power to preserve
'existing conditions while it was de
termining its own authority to grant
j injunctive relief. The defendants
jin making their private determina
tion of the law', acted at their peril.
! Their disobedience is punishable as
criminal contempt. * * *
Court Must Be Obeyed.
Proceeding further, we find Im
pressive authority for the proposi
tion that an order issued by a court
with jurisdiction over the subject
matter and person must be obeyed
by the parties until it is reversed by
orderly and proper proceedings.
This is true without regard even
for the constitutionality of the act
under which the order is issued. * • *
Violations of an order are pun
ishable as criminal contempt, even
though the order is set aside on
appeal • * * or though the basic
action has become moot. * * *
The defendants have pressed upon
us the procedural aspects of their
trial and allege error so prejudicial
as to require reversal of the judg
ments for civil and criminal con
tempt. But we have not been
persuaded.
The question is whether the pro
ceedings will support judgments for
both criminal and civil contempt;
and our attention' is directed to
Rule 42 <B> of the rules of criminal
procedure. The rule requires crim
inal contempt to be prosecuted on
notice stating the essential facts
constituting the contempt charged.
In this respect, there was com
pliance with the rule here. * * *
Not only were the defendants
fully informed that a criminal
| contempt was charged, but we think
! they enjoyed, during the trial itself,
all the enhanced protections ac
corded defendants in criminal con
tempt proceedings.
Apart from their contentions con
cerning the formal aspects of the
proceedings below, defendants in
sist upon the inability of the United
States to secure relief by way of
civil contempt in this case and
would limit the right to proceed
by civil contempt to situations in
which the United States is en
forcing a statute expressly allowing
resort to the courts for enforcement
of statutory orders. * * •
The United States was fully en
titled to bring the present suit and
to benefit from orders .entered in
its behalf.
Amount of Fines.
It is urged that, in any event,
the . amount of the fine of $10,000
imposed on the defendant \ Lewis
and of the fine of $3300,000 im
posed on the defendant union were
arbitrary, excessive, and in no way
related to the evidence adduced at
the hearing.
Sentences for criminal contempt
are punitive in their nature and are
imposed for the purpose of vindi
cating the authority of >lhe court.
* * * Hie interests of orderly gov
ernment demand that respect and
compliance be given to orders is
sued by courts possessed of jurisdic
tion of person and subject matter.
One who defies the public authority
and willfully refuses his obedience,
does so at his peril.
In imposing a fine for criminal
contempt, the trial judge may prop
erly take into consideration the ex
tent of the willful and deliberate
defiance of (he court’s order, the
seriousness of the consequences of
the contumacious behavior, the
necessity of effectively terminating
the defendant’s defiance as required
by the public interest, and the im
portance of deterring such acts in
the future. Because of the nature of
these standards, great reliance must
be placed upon the discretion of the
trial judge.
The trial court properly found the
defendants guilty of criminal con
tempt. Such contempt had contin
ued for 15 days from the issuance of
the restraining order until the “find
ing of guilty. Its willfulness had
not been qualified by any concur
rent attempt on defendants’ part
to challenge the order by motion to
vacate or other appropriate proce
dures.
Immediately following the finding
of guilty, defendant Lewis stated
openly in court that defendants
would adhere to their policy of de
fiance. This policy, as the evidence
showed, was the germ center of an
economic paralysis which was rap
idly extending itself from the bitu
minous coal mines into practically
every other major industry of the
United States. It was an attempt
to repudiate and override the in
strument of lawful government in
the very situation in which govern
mental action was indispensable.
* * * We think the record clearly
warrants a fine of $10,000 against
defendant Lewis for criminal con
tempt.
Union’s Fine Held Excssive.
A majority of the court, however,
does not think that it warrants the
unconditional imposition of a fine
of $3,500,000 against the defendant
union. A majority feels that, if
the court below had assessed a fine
of $700,000 against the defendant
union, this,* under the circumstances,
would not be excessive as punish
ment for the criminal contempt
theretofore committed; and feels
that, in order to coerce the de
fendant union into a future com
pliance with the court’s order, it
would have been effective to make
the other $2,800,000 of the fine con
ditional on the defendant’s failure
to purge itself within a reasonable
time.
Accordingly, the judgment against
the defendant union is held to be
excessive. It will be modified so as
to require the defendant union to
pay a fine of $700,000, and further,
to pay an additional fine of $2,
800,000 unless the defendant union,
within five days after the issuance
of the mandate herein, shows that
it has fully complied with the
temporary restraining order issued
November 18, 1946, and the prelimi
nary injunction issued December 4
1946.
The defendant union can effect
full compliance only by withdrawing
unconditionally the notice given by
it, signed by John L. Lewis, presi
dent. on November 15, 1946, to J. A.
Krug, Secretary of the Interior,
terminating the Krug-Lewis agree
ment as of 12 o’clock midnight,
Wednesday, November 20, 1946, and
by notifying, at the same time, its
members of such withdrawal in sub
stantially the same manner as the
members of the defendant union
were notified of the notice to the
Secretary of the Interior above
mentioned; and by withdrawing and
similarly instructing the members
of the defendant union of the with
drawal of any other notice to the
effect that the Krug-Lewis agree
ment is not in full force and effect
until the final determination of the
basic issues arising under the said
agreement.
"Serious Threat Cited.’*
We well realize the serious pro
portions of the fines here imposed
upon the defendant union. But a
majority feels that the course taken
by the union carried with it such a
serious threat to orderly constitu
tional government, and to the eco
nomic and social welfare of the
Nation that a fine of substantial size
is required in order to emphasize the
gravity of the offense of which the
union was found guilty.
The defendant Lewis, it is true,
was the aggressive leader in the
studied - and deliberate noncompli
ance with the order of the District
Court; but, as the record shows, he
stated in open court prior to im
position of the fines that “the repre
sentatives of the United Mine
Workers determined that the so
called Krug-Lewis agreement was
breached,” and that it was the
union’s “representatives” who “noti
fied the Secretary of the Interior
that the contract was terminated as
of November 20th.” And certainly it
was the members of the defendant
union who executed the Nationwide
strike.
Loyalty in responding to the or
ders of their leader may, in some
minds, minimize the gravity of the
miners’ conduct; but we cannot ig
nore the effect of their action upon
the rights of other citizens, or the
effect of their action upon our sys
tem of government. The gains,
social and economic, which the
miners and other citizens have real
ized in the past, are ultimately due
to the fact that they enjoy the
rights of free men under our sys
tem of government. Upon the main
tenance of that system depends all
future progress to which they may
justly aspire. In our complex society,
there is a great variety of limited
loyalties, but the overriding loyalty
of all is to our country and to the
institutions under which a particualr
interest may be pursued.
JUSTICE FRANKFURTER
(Concurring)
A majority of my brethren find
that neither the Norris-LaGuardia
Act nor the War Labor Disputes Act
limited the power of the District
Court to issue the orders under re
view. I have come to the contrary
view. But to suggest that the right
to determine so complicated and
novel an issue could not be brought
within the cognizance of the District
Court, and eventually of this court,
is to deny the place of the judiciary
in our scheme of government. And
if the District Court had power to
decide whether this case was prop
erly before it, it could rhake appro
priate orders so as to afford the
necessary time for fair considera
tion and decision while existing con
ditions were preserved.. To say that
the authority of the court may be
flouted during the time necessary to
decide is to reject the requirements
of the judicial process. * * *
And so I join the opinion of the
court insofar as it sustains the
judgment for criminal contempt
upon the broad ground of vindi
cating the process of law. * ♦ *
It only remains to state the basis
of my disagreement with the court's
views on the bearing of the Norris
LaGuardia Act * * *
The Norris-LaGuardia Act has
specific origins and definite purposes
and should not be confined by an
artificial canon of construction. The
title of the act gives its scope and
purpose, and the terms of the act
justify its title. It is an act “to de
fine and limit the jurisdiction of
courts sitting in equity.” It does not
deal with the rights of parties but
the power of the courts. Again and
again the statute says “no court
shall have jurisdiction,” or an
equivalent phrase. Congress was
concerned with the withdrawal of
power from the Federal courts to
issue injunctions in a defined class
of cases. Nothing in the act remote
ly hints that the withdrawal of this
power turns on the character of the
parties.
JUSTICE RUTLEDGE
(Dissenting)
Mr. Justice Frankfurter has shown
conclusively, I think, that the policy
of the Norris-LaGuardia Act, (47
Stat. 20) applies to this situation.
The legislative history * * * compels
the conclusion that the War Labor
DispwWtt Act of 1943, (57 Stat. 163)
not only confirms the applicability
of the earlier statute, but itself ex
cludes resort to injunctive relief for
enforcement of its own provisions
in situations of this sort.
The Senate thoroughly considered
and debated various proposals for
authorizing equity to intervene in
labor disputes, one by the act’s
sponsor in that body. Positively, re
peatedly and unwaveringly it re
jected all of them. They were like
wise rejected in conference, where
the Senate’s view prevailed over
that of the House. The latter body
had not been inattentive to the
problem. It sought and failed to
secure the very thing this court now
says, in effect, was included • • *
Whether Congress acted wisely in
this refusal is not our concern * * *
Since in my opinion the order
was jurisdictionally invalid when is
sued, by virtue of the War Labor
Disputes Act and its adoption of the
Norris-La Guardia Act’s policy, it
follows that the violation gave no
sufficient cause for sustaining the
conviction for contempt. * * * Lewis
and the United Mine Workers neces
sarily took the risk that the order
would be found valid on review and,
in that event, that punishnjent fin
contempt would apply. * * *
The power of the Federal courts
to issue stay orders to maintain the
status quo pending appeal, like
other matters affecting their juris
diction except in the case of this
court’s original jurisdiction, is sub
ject to Congress’ control. That con
trol has been exercised, in ifiy view,
to exclude such jurisdiction In case?
of this character. And, this being
true, I do not think either we- or
any other court subject to that
mandate has power to punish as
for contempt the violation of such
an order issued in contravention of
Congress’ command. * * *
* * * As the proceeding itself is
said to have been both civil and
criminal, so are the two “fines.”
Each was imposed in a single lump
sum, with no allocation of specific j
portions as among civil damages, I
civil coercion and criminal punish-!
ment. The Government concedes
that some part of each “fine” was
laid for each purpose. But the trial i
court did not state, and the Gov- !
ernment has refused to speculate,
how much was imposed in either
instance for each of those distinct
remedial functions. • • *
No man or group is above the
law. All are subject to its valid
commands. So are the Govern
ment and the courts. If, as I think,
Congress has -forbidden the use
of labor injunctions in this and
like cases, that conclusion is the
end of ofir function. And if mod
ification of that policy is to be made
for such cases, that problem is ■
for Congress in the first instance,]
not for the courts.
JUSTICE MURPHY
, (Dissenting)
An objective reading of the Norris
La Guardia Act removes any doubt
as to its meaning and as to its
applicability to the .facts of this
case. Section 4 provides in clear,
unmistakable language that “no
court of the United States shall
have jurisdiction to issue any re
straining order or temporary or
permanent Injunction in any case
involving or growing out of any
labor dispute • * • ” That lan
guage, which is repeated in other
sections of the act, is sufficient by
itself to dispose of this case with
out further ado. * * *
The crux of this case is whether
the fact that the Government took
over the possession and operation
of the mines changed the private
character of the underlying labor
dispute between the operators and
the miners so as to make inap
plicable the Norris-La Guardia Act.
The answer is clear. Much has
been said about the Government’s
status as employer and the miners’
status as Government employes fol
lowing the seizure. In my opinion,j
the miners remained private em
ployes despite the temporary gloss
of Government possession and
operation of the mines * * *
Moreover, if seizure alone justifies
an injunction contrary to the ex
pressed will of Congress, some future
Government could easily utilize
seizure as a subterfuge for breaking
any or all strikes in private in
dustries. * * *
Congress has flatly forbidden the
issuance of all restraining orders
under this act. It follows that
when such an order is issued de
spite this clear prohibition, no man
can be held in contempt thereof,
| however unwise his action may be
j as a matter of policy. When he
i violates the void order, 28 U. S. C„
! Section 385 comes into operation,
forbidding punishment for contempt
except where there has been dis
obedience of a "lawful writ, process,
order, rule, decree, or command’’
of a court.
It has been said that the actions
of the defendants threatened or
derly constitutional government and
the economic and social stability of
the Nation. Whatever may be the
validity of those statements, we lack
ahy power to ignore the plain man
dates of Congress and to impose
vindictive fines upon the defendants.
JUSTICES BLACK AND DOUGLAS
(Concnrring in Part and
Dissenting in Part)
* For the reasons given in the
court’s opinion, we agree that neither
the Norris-LaGuardia Act nor the
War Labor Disputes Act barred the
i Government from obtaining the in
i junction it sought in these proceed
ings. * * *
We have no doubt that the miners
! became Government employes when
the Government took; over the
mines. * * *
Since the Norris-LaGuardia Act is
inapplicable, we agree that the Dis
trict Court had power in these pro
ceedings to enter orders necessary
to protect the Government against
an invasion of the rights it asesrted,
pending adjudication of the contro
versy its complaint presented to the
court. * * - *
We agree that the court had pow
er summarily to coerce obedience to
those orders and to subject defen
dants to such conditional sanctions
as were necessary to compel obedi
ence. And we agree that in such
civil contempt proceedings to com
pel obedience, it was not necessary
for the court to abide by all the pro
cedural safeguards which surround
trials for crime. * t *
Yet the decision of this court also
i approves unconditional fines as
! criminal punishment for past diso
bedience. We cannot agree to this
aspect of the court’s judgment. At
a very early date, this court de
clared, and recently it has reiterated,
that in contempt proceedings courts
should never exercise more than
“the least posible power adequate
to the end proposed." The imposi
tion of criminal punishment here
was an exercise of far more than
"the least possible power adequate
to the end proposed.’” For here the
great and legitimate “end proposed"
was affirmative action by the defen
dants to prevent interruption of coal
production pending final adjudica
tion of the' controversy. Coercive
sanctions sufficient to acomplish this
end were justified. From the record
we have no doubt but that a condi
tional civil sanction would bring
about at least as prompt and un
equivocal obedience to the court’s
l order as would criminal punishment
| for past disobedience.
i If the $10,000 fine on Defendant
Lewis and the $3,000,000 fine on the
defendant union be treated as coer
cive fines, they would not neces
sarily be excessive. For they would
then be payable only if the de
fendants continued to disobey the
court's order. * * *
We should modify the District
Court’s decrees by making the en
tire amount of the fines payable
conditionally. On December 7, 1946,
Mr. Lewis directed the mine workers
to return to work until midnight,
March 31, 1947. But, so far as
we are aware, the notice which pur
ported to terminate the contract
has not been withdrawn.. Thus,
there has been, at most, only a
Reaction of Miners
To High Court Ruling
Is Widely Divergent
By tho Associated Brass
PITTSBURGH, Mar. 7.—Reaction
of coal miners and other union
members to the Supreme Court rul
ing upholding fines against John L.
Lewis and the United Mine Workers
today ranged all the way from full
acceptance to bitter rejection.
Thomas Evans, president of UMW
Local No. 73, was told the news
as he climbed out of the pit at
Montour No. 10 Mine of the Pitts
burgh Consolidation Coal Co. in Al
legheny County.
“If it was left to the men at Mon
tour No. 10, there wouldn’t be a
pound of coal dug until that deci
sion by the Supreme Court was re-'
versed,” he said.
He looked at other union men
about him and they chorused assent.
“You can understand this, too,”
Mr. Evans added, "We are all 100
per cent behind John L. Lewis.”
Calls It Rotten Deal.
John P. Busarello, president of
UMW District 5 (Pittsburgh) said
tersely that “organized labor got a
rotten deal from the Government
and the Supreme Court.”
At the H. C. Frick Coke Company’s
national No. 1 pit at Morgan, Al
legheny County, Roy Gossett, mem
ber of the local Union Committee,
told newsmen:
“Morally, the miners were right.
We’ve been trying for years to get
hospitalization. That’s what the
strike last November was about. If
the law says Lewis was wrong, it
was his lawyers who were, wrong be
cause they advised him wrong.”
“Lewis fs always right,” broke In
a fellow miner.
“That’s right,” agreed Mr. Gossett,
“but we’ll abide by the law. We’ll
go along with the Government.”
Doesn’t Expect New Strike.
Mr. Gossett said he didn’t think
there’d be another strike as long
as the Government kept control of
the mines.
“No miner likes to strike unless
he’s got to,” he added.
Some of the older miners, who
would not give their names, said
“Lewis should never have called the
strike in the first place,” but others
who also preferred anonymity of
fered such comment as “well, they
sold us out again” and “are we going
to strike again?”
In the anthracite fields of East
ern Pennsylvania, the feeling among
miners was that the ruling might
not be pleasant but that miners had
no choice but to accept it.
Leonard Statkewicz, president of
Loomis Local 2444, Glen Alden Coal
partial compliance with the tem
porary injunction.
Hence our judgment should pro
vide that the defendants pay their
respective fines only in the event
that full and unconditional obedi
ence to the temporary injunction,
including withdrawal of the notice
which purported to terminate the
contract, is not had on or before
a day certain.
Co., Luzerne County, said “the de
cision is jolting but, as good Ameri
cans, we’ll take it in our stride.”
“Our local will meet today," Mr.
Statkevicz said, “and if the senti
ment is unchanged, we will be among
the first to urge that Mr. Lewis'
fine and that of the UWA be taken
as an obligation by the members
of the union.”
Say’s They Will Pay.
One Loomis mine worker grinned
and said, “we’ll pay.”
Officers of Local 151, Marvine
colliery of the Hudson Coal Co.
near Scranton, Pa., said they werei
sure the high court ruling would
ultimately be looked on as a union
victory.
From the bituminous fields of
Southern West Virginia came talk
not quite so conciliatory.
“I think the miners will walk out
-March 31 unless they have a new
contract with the operators by
then,” declared Johnnie W. Mask,
a mine motorman and UMW local
president.
Sees “Union Basting.”
Moses Prunty, a 67-year-old
miner, said the “miners will stay
100 per cent behind Lewis and I
think they ought to walk out again
March 31 if they haven’t got a new
contract.”
“It looks like they’re trying to
break up the union,” grimly com
mented one digger.
In Pittsburgh, a CIO leader—
Thomas J. Fitzpatrick, president of
Dictrict Council 6, United Electrical,
Radio and Machine Workers—said
the decision was a bad setback for
labor.
“Like the Dred Scott decision and
the Danbury hatters case, history
will have something to say about the
decision in the miners’ case,’’ he
said. “Here labor again finds itself
hurled back into the dark ages of
employer rule by injunction, out of
which we have climbed with so
much blood and sweat in the past
50 years.
“It is my opinion that this de
cision, unless reversed, will cause
greater industrial unrest and will
lead to the shooting of workers, as
rule by injunction has always done
in the past.’’
Pan American Merger
Report Denied by TWA
ty the Associated Press
KANSAS CITY, Mar, 7.—John A,
Collings, acting executive vice presi
dent of Trans World Airline, yester
day denied repoU^thgiJ## airline
In a statement to employes Mr.
Collings said there was no basis to
recent “press reports” that there
were plans under way to either
“dispose of TWA’s international
route or merge TWA and Pan Amer
ican systems.”
SKY PILOT BRIEF BAG
Important companion for going placet. Corn*
pact, precite . . . with every fine detail of Bertram tuperb
craftsmanship. Removable under arm portfolio. In top
grain aniline cowhide: Sun1 Tan Shade_*$49.50
Same brief bag with stationery file_*$41
Vim to% excise tax 920 14th $t. Bet. Eye end K
:--———T———^
, 5 ZjtU • I V * ~: $WJ^ , ••,»' ": > -V.
•"• r :-V'> ' , . ‘ *•>
Why Poland’s Case Should Go to U. N.
• . >
Petition to the U. S. Senate and the U. S. House of Representatives, adopted *
at the Secqnd Annual Convention of the Supreme Council of the Polish
American Congress, Inc., at Hotel Statler,W ashington, D. C., February 14,1947:
An Unfulfilled Pledge
On February 4, 1947, while receiving the mock
ambassador sent to Washington by the usurpers of
Poland’s sovereignty and the oppressors of the Polish
nation, the President of the United States declared
that the United States joined with Great Britain and
Soviet Russia at the Yalta and Potsdam Conferences
in guaranteeing free elections in Poland. “It is a
cause of deep concern to me and to the American
people”—the President said—“that the Polish pro
visional government has failed to fulfill that pledge.”
This statement of the President of the United
States was corroborated fully and officially by the
State Department on January 28, 1947, when it de
clared that, “. . . the provisional government (of
Poland) . . . employed (during the election campaign)
widespread measures of coercion and intimidation
against democratic elements which were loyal to
Poland although not partisans of the government
bloc. In these circumstances the United States Gov
ernment cannot consider that the provisions of the
Yalta and Potsdam agreements have been fulfilled.”
Terrorized Election •
Refutes War Aim
In the words of the Hon. Arthur H. Vandenberg,
President pro tempore of the U. S. Senate, delivered
on the floor of the Senate on January 29, 1947, “. . . a
world war which started in behalf of Polish liberty is
something more than a rigged and terrorized election
which defies and defeats every elementary concept
of autonomy, self-determination and democracy and
which nullifies the most selemn pledges of which
Britain and the United States and Soviet Russia are
capable. This finding now seems to be officially con
firmed to a controlling degree by the statement issued
by the State Department in Washington.”
It was always the opinion of the six million
Americans of Polish descent, united in the Polish
American Congress, that what 'Senator Vandenberg
rightly calls “defeat of every elementary concept of
autonomy, self-determination and democracy” actu
ally was the result of the Yalta agreement which was
never ratified by the U. S. Senate and is therefore null
and void. Under this perfidious agreement Poland,
deprived of its national sovereignty, partitioned by
her Allies, had a government imposed upon her people
by a foreign power. The only point which was de
signed to conceal the fact that the Yalta agreement
was a complete capitulation to Russian aggressive
imperialism at the expense of Poland, was the proviso
under which “free and unfettered elections” were to
be held in Poland.
The leading United States authorities have now
declared this proviso was violated. They express the
view of the majority of Americans that the Yalta
agreement, fraught with mortal dangers for the peo
ples of Europe and the Western Hemisphere, the
United States included, has lost its validity.
The Case Cannot Rest
The Supreme Council of the Polish American Con
gress, assembled at its annual convention in Wash
ington, D. C., desires to point to the conclusions
reached by Senator Vandenberg in his speech of Jan- •
uary 29, 1947, namely, that there cannot be any
thought “of resting the case upon the mere filing of
an unpursued indictment, when the indictment
charges basic violation of the very fundamentals of
the Atlantic Charter and the United Nations Charter.
There must be a more honvincing answer.” The
Supreme Council of the Polish American Congress,
fully shares Senator Vandenberg’s conviction that the
United States cannot rest the Polish case after having
filed an indictment.
The above mentioned statements of President
Truman and Senator Vandenberg, substantiated and
corroborated by eye-witness reports of numerous
American correspondents who observed the “vicious
travesty upon the promised freedom and democracy
in Poland”—reveal a flagrant violation of the Charter
of the United Nations.
Human Rights of U. N,
Charter Violated
The government of Soviet Russia, Indulging since
1939 to this day in “threat or use of force against
the territorial integrity or political independence of
any State,” stands accused of this violation under
Article 2, paragraph 4 of the Charter. Moreover, the
conduct of the government of Soviet Russia, clearly
violates the stipulations of the Preamble of the
Charter of the United Nations, to-wit- “We the
peoples of the United Nations are determined ... to
reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the
dignity and worth of the human person, in the equal
rights of men and women and of nations larger and
small, and to establish conditions under which justice
and respect for the obligations arising from treaties
and other sources of international law can be main
tained ...” V
This conduct also violates stipulations of para
graph 1 and 2 of Article 1 of the said Charter,
to-wit: “the purposes of the United Nations are:
(1) To maintain international peace and security and
to that end: to take effective collective measures for
the prevention and remoyal of threats to the peace,
and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other
breaches of the peace ... (2) To develop friendly
relations among nations based on respect for the
principle of equal rights and self-determination of
peoples . . .”
Case Is Test for U. N. Function
Being deeply convinced that American security
and the value of official pledges as well as basic
principles of conduct in international affairs are at
stake in the test case of Poland, the Supreme Council
of the Polish American Congress, Inc., expresses its
confidence that the case of Poland, temporarily closed,
by the illegal, null and void Yalta agreement, will be
reopened before the supreme international body of
the General Assembly of the United Nations, as a first
step toward restorktion of justice and principles of
decency in international relations.
The Supreme Council of the Polish American
Congress, therefore respectfully petitions the Senate
and the House of Representatives to take all necessary
steps in order to have the case of Poland submitted
to the General Assembly of the United Nations._
_However, it is not Poland that shall stand accused
before the United Nations. The People of Poland can
not be brought to justice and punished for what has
been and is being done to them by their alien
oppressors. The Polish people should not be penalized
by withdrawal of relief from abroad or by any similar
actions, because they are not guilty of the crimes
perpetrated upon them by the totalitarian regime of
Soviet Russia and its agents acting in Poland. Action
should be taken against the oppressor and his agents
and not against the oppressed.
Having carefully considered all the facts and
circumstances of the case of Poland as presented by
official U. S. Government statements and bearing in
mind that very recently, namely on December 12,
1946, "the General Assembly of the United Nations
acted with regard to a country, which is not occupied
by a foreign power, on a case in which a distinction
was made between the interests of the people and
those of a government, the Supreme Council of the
Polish American Congress, Inc., is convinced that the
United States Government should submit the case of
Poland to the General Assembly of the United Nations,
thus paving the way to further action aiming at recall
of Russian occupational troops and full restoration
of Poland’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.
For the Supreme Council
of the Polish American Congress, Inc.
Charles Rosmareh, Chairman
John A. Stanek, Secretary

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