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The people's voice. [volume] (Helena, Mont.) 1939-1969, January 24, 1940, Image 2

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THE PEOPLE'S VOICE
Published Weekly by The People's Voice Publishing Co.
at 1206 Lockey Street, Helena, Montana
P. O. Box 838
Application for entry as Second Class Matter pending.
CO., HELENA, MONT.
H. S. BRUCE. Managing Editor
CO-OP PUBLISHING
Subscription Price: Year $1.00; Six Months 75c.
No Commercial Advertising except from Co-operative Business institu
tions accepted. Rates on application.
CONFERENCES
Forecasting the probable outcome of any state-wide confer
ence is certainly a rash undertaking because so many unfore
seen things may arise that may have a bearing on the final re
sults. Therefore, the safe answer to a question if there may
be tangible, beneficial results obtained from the state youth
unemployment conference, sponsored by the National Youth
Administration, would be "Yes—and no."
There are certain tangible values in just the assembling of
a representative group from all over the state for the discus
sion of an existing problem; serves to call the attention of the
general public to the problem; acts to check to some degree
their fatalistic and apathetic neglect of its existence and con
sider possible solutions.
It is always interesting to sit in on conferences of this nature,
and to get a cross-section of thought, whether from adults or
from youth,
Usually one leaves one of these conferences with
a feeling of depression,
the same in all of them,
from those attending, whether the problem it is proposed to
consider, actually exists,
and after the existence of the problem is affirmed the time for
discussion of its solution has been quite drastically curtailed.
In this particular conference which is being held today, the
question of unemployment of youth is to be discussed. Actual
ly, of course, this is only one phase of the greater problem of
general unemployment, the existence of which no one denies.
Thus it would appear sensible to admit the youth unemploy
ment problem and begin immediate discussion of solutions and
remedies.
In the case of unemployment of youth, undoubtedly great
stress will be placed on the need for extension of vocational
education.
great merit, but one may question whether in this day and age
it may be considered of any tremendous advantage, in assuring
youth jobs and income after leaving school. Lack of oppor
tunity for employment in this mechanized age is largely attri
butable to replacement of men by machines. Finally it is, of
course, due to the fact that we have refused and are still re
fusing to increase our production; to eliminate the profit mo
tive and to produce the abundance for all which the machine
age has placed within our reach.
There will be those in attendance at this conference who
could offer sound advice on the proper approach to the solu
tion of the unemployment problem. Many of the leaders in
the program of the National Youth Administration are able to
put their finger on the root of the problem and its only possi
ble solution. However, it may be fairly safely predicted that
the only thing that will result from the conference will be some
possible, even though improbable, methods of relieving some
of the suffering. No drastic cure for the disease will be even
suggested.
For this no one is particularly to blame. Suppose some of
The general course of discussion runs
First, an effort is made to find out
This always takes considerable time,

!
Unquestionably vocational education possesses
the leaders would "stick their necks out," analyze the problem
realistically and propose efforts to revamp our economy so as
to eliminate the need for further conferences of this character.
It may be stated with absolute certainty that the net results
would be an addition to the ranks of the unemployed. These
leaders would be there very shortly,
along would continue merrily on.
And the blundering
PROPAGANDA AND FREE SPEECH
The arrest by the F. B. I. of many leaders of the "Christian
Front" and the close connection with this propaganda organ
ization of Father Coughlin, leading Fascist propagandist of
this country, finally is only one more item of proof of the
efforts being constantly carried on to undermine and event
ually wipe out all of our democratic institutions.
These arrested leaders of the "Christian Front" had become
overbold, and had, like the Fascist elements in France, begun
the assembling of arsenals with which to "take over" by force,
the governmental functions of our country. By doing this,
they had written the end of their organization as an openly
organized unit.
On Monday of this week, there came to the desk of the
writer, a four-page paper published in Atascadero, Calif or-(
nia, with the high-sounding title "America Speaks" on its
This is one of the newest publications of these
It follows the usual pattern of propaganda;
front page.
Fascist groups.
thunders against the Jews and employs all of the other "bait
phrases" about "international bankers" who are also classi
fied as "Jew communists."
It announces its high mission to save America from the
threats of dangers impending from strikes and other disturb
ances engendered by the "subversive" groups and to awaken
the people by mass circulation of this sheet, through distribu
tion by sympathetic persons, to the dangers of continuation
of the present policies of government.
It must be remembered in appraising the operations of all
ox these groups that all of their activities involve the expendi
tures of large sums of money; such sums as cannot possibly
be obtained from collecting the small contributions of the so
called "common people." They must be financed to a large
extent by short-sighted interests who have deluded themselves
into thinking that by financing these movements and distribu
tion of propaganda sheets, such as the one referred to, they
may be able to direct the unrest of large groups of people
caused by the economic breakdown to their interests; secure
enough popular support to destroy such democratic institu
tions as are enjoyed at present and institute an autocracy
whereby they hope to save a crumbling economic system under
which they have enjoyed complete rights to exploit.
Some very delicate questions are involved in the discussion
of propaganda sheets like "America Speaks." Fundamental
ly involved is the constitutional right of free public expres
sion. Suppression cannot be advocated. None of them may
be said to advocate overthrow of our government. They all
proclaim fulsomely their patriotic intent and purposes. The
only danger in them lies in their appeal to the tremendously
large groups of people in our land who are discontented, rest
less, and lack knowledge and understanding to analyze the
fundamental reasons for their plight and are therefore ready
to follow and adopt any form of demagoguery that promises
With human hopefulness they think that any
a change,
change must remedy their plight.
The real answer is the development of sound understanding
of the issues involved, so that changes may be brought about
by democratic processes as a result of informed public opinion.
YOUTH S STRUGGLE
By BEN BUCKLEY
I have never seen the facts of edu
cation brought out so clearly as they
were today by the youth of Montana.
By listening to a youth talk one could
tell just how far his education in
facts had developed since his school
days.
trend of thoughts that he had been
taught to follow by our school system.
This class of youth was lost in the
maze of political economics, groping
in the dark for something beyond
their reach, standing on false ideas
and worshipping false idols, dreaming
beautiful dreams of the future that are
unobtainable under our present sys
tem. Our present school system has
instilled into the minds of our youth
that hard work, loyalty to the indus
tries and a lot of faith In their ability
to do things either with their hands
or brains and they will reach the peak
of success in a monetary way. Of |
course it is cruel and unjust to teach
children untruths that their very life
depends upon. It is an unfair advan
tage to take of them just in order to
prolong a system that has decayed
and is ready to fall apart. To teach
unsound economics is vicious at any
time.
It showed very clearly the
There was a group of youths from
Great Falls and the northern part of
the state that saved the day and the
reputation of the youth of Montana
with their sound knowledge of the
hard facts of economics as they ac
tually are.
They gave to me and
many others an unexpected thrill and
a realization that perhaps with that
kind of timber in the making the
battle for the rights of mankind would
be worth while continuing. I noticed
that the unenlightened youth talked
in terms of individualism of his per
sonal chances to succeed in life if he
were properly trained, never realizing
that there mjght be thousands of
others to compete with for that one
job. When it comes to the question
of placing these youths in future jobs
then certainly the people as a whole
of this country must be taken into
consideration. Work is a minor fac
tor without consumption,
little sense in producing a commodity
unless someone has the means to con
sume it. And it seems that is one
thing that we as a nation of workers
are forbidden to do. Industries under
the profit system will never be able
(even if they wanted to, which they
don't) to employ all the workers at
any scale of wages, let alone on a
standard of decency and health. It
has never been done in the history of
the world, even when man produced
with hand tools, and now we are in
the machine age where one machine
does the work of hundreds of work
ers. Every industrial plant employs
machines, not men. Even your white
collar office workers are put back on
to the street in favor of mechanical
devices that are more accurate and
faster than the human being,
time no doubt will come when the
machine will supplant man' in all .lines
of work. Will the people, then de
mand the profits of the machines or
shall we still compete for the half
There is
The
The meeting of youth at the Capitol
building today was a fine thing. Every
one got their ideas into circulation
and I am sure that there were some
of the youths that came there that
left with new thoughts in their heads
that they had never known existed
before.
About six years ago there
was a graph compiled showing how
the business of this country, most of
the land and the natural resources
are owned and controlled by the Chase
National Bank of New York inter
locked with the money powers of im
perialist Europe. A few men at the
head of this powerful monopoly have
more power than congress could ever
hope for in their wildest dreams. With
a scratch of the pen they can call
a money panic,
standard of living of the people. They
tell the people when they can work
and how much they shall receive, and
what they shall be taught in our
schools. Of course a system that has
its warehouses bulging with food stuff
They control the
Congressional
Oratory to Center
On Agreements
b
WASHINGTON, D. C.—(FP)—Since
no major legislation is ordinarily con
sidered by congress in an election
year, political leaders in both camps
expect that the chief debate on farm
matters will center around the recip
rocal trade agreement program which
expires on June 12th.
Roosevelt has already asked congress
to extend the trade agreements act for
another three year period.
The original act, passed in 1934, was
for a three year period, and the ex
tension voted by congress in 1937 was
for a like period.
A preview of congressional argu
ments pro and con indicates no seri
ous departures or innovations. The
only such attempt in recent weeks
came from Senator McNary (R) who
charged that the trade of the United
States with France, the United King
dom, and Canada had suffered be
cause of wartime currency deprecia
tion, which the trade agreements can
not counter,
molished this argument however by
showing that exports to these nations
have increased sharply since the for
eign currencies became cheaper.
Both Wallace and McNary argued
in terms of total exports without giv
ing a breakdown of farm and non
farm items. Since the increase in ex
ports has affected war materials al
most exclusively and since it is of
ficially expected that "normal" ex
ports including foodstuffs will be sac
rificed for the more urgent war orders,
it seems evident that the trade agree
ments themselves can be credited
neither with the recent general in
crease in exports nor with the de
creases in particular items of farm
exports.
President
Secretary Wallace de
ready to be consumed and 16,000,000
people on the verge of starvation and
millions of others fighting for the op
portunity to produce more for the priv
ilege of just existing, a system of that
kind is just as crazy as hell and is
not workable, now or ever. If youth
expects to ever receive their rights
s human beings and live a full, nor
mal life with the right to a family
and home on a standard of decency
and health, then they must go Into
the inner workings of this system and
remodel it to fit the day.
Trespassing—
(Continued From Page One)
Administration . . . Rep. Coffee, Wash
ington, believes that the federal oil
control bill (H. R. 7372) would "lead
to monopoly rather than true con
servation."
The proposed measure
would effect those states that have
not already passed matching acts to
the Connally "hot oil" bill.
Since republicans have raised ob
jections to government departments
employing publicity men, what will
they say when they find out that the
Smith NLRB investigating committee
has gone in for that very thing in
a big way?
columnists who have been criticizing
him are members of "subversive or
ganizations" that his
Mr. Dies says that
been Investigating. Why doesn't he
expose them and the "subversive or
ganizations" to which they belong?
. . . Many a relief client could be fed
by Uncle Sam for the cost to the gov
ernment in printing Representative
Thorkelson's Silvershirt speeches.
An "Okie" Protests
Speaking as the son of an "Okie."
(an Oklahoma tenant farmer) Rep.
Boren, Oklahoma, declared that John
Steinbeck's novel, "The Grapes of
Wrath," is a "black. Infernal creation
of a twisted, distorted mind."
Steinbeck's novel deals with the eco
nomic plight of the tenant farmers
of the Dust Bowl, the scene being
laid in Rep. Boren's home state.
"I stand before you today as an
example, in my judgment, of the aver
age son of the tenant farmers in
America," Boren told his colleagues
in the House. He failed to say, how
ever, that he can purchase a whole
lot more grub with the $10,000 a year
plus mileage he receives from his gov
ernment than can "the average son
of the tenant farmers in America."
* • »
Are We Heading Towards
A Gestapo?
Are we developing a Gestapo in the
This question was
asked by Representative Marcantonlo,
New York, following testimony by Ed
gar Hoover, FBI chief, that the Bureau
has compiled indices of "Individuals
or groups who might be a source of
grave danger to the security of this
country" jn the event "that we eater
into the conflict abroad."
United States?
The New York congressman sus
pects that persons are being indexed
because they happen to have views
"contrary to the views of Mr. Hoover,"
and fears that a foundation is being
laid "for Palmer raids, for a Palmer
system, and for a Gestapo system in
the United States."
"This innova
tics in the FBI" Marcantonio says,
"is the index-card menace to Amer
ican liberty."
*
Philly "Skirts" Need Not Apply
On the House floor;
, Rep. Charles I. Faddis, Pa., "We
are deeply concerned about the con
cern of the gentleman (Mr. Dltter)
from the outskirts of Philadelphia . . ."
Rep. J. W. Ditter, Pa., "I recent that
reference to skirts. I have nothing
whatever to do with the outskirts of
Philadelphia, nor with the skirts of
Philadelphia, for that matter. I rep
resent the county of Montgomery."
Rep. Faddis, "Mr. Speaker, I ask
unanimous consent to withdraw the
words, 'outskirts of Philadelphia,' and
to substitute therefor 'the county of
Montgomery,' which we understand is
out of debt entirely on account of the
public works relief program of the
administration in Washington."
*
There are at least some people who
are concerned over the problems of
youth. A representative in the Illinois
legislature has announced that he will
introduce a state youth bill, which
will include the setting up of an
agency to study the needs of young
people, schools, job opportunities, etc.
A similar measure is being drawn up
by youth leaders and legislators in
New York state. Liberals In Minne
sota tried for several years to put
through a state youth act, but a con
servative-controlled legislature always
frustrated their efforts.
Significant Court Opinion
In a decision upholding the govern
ment in an injunction action brought
by a number of California citrus as
sociations to prevent enfrocement of
the fair labor standards (wage-hour)
act. Judge Yankwich of the United
States district court made the follow
ing pertinent observations:
"Back of this controversy is what
may readily be conceded to be a rad
ical departure in the realm of Ameri
can federal government activity—con
trol working conditions, hours and
wages—by the federal government
through the power to control Inter
state commerce, the 'fair labor stan
dards act of 1938.'
"Federal legislation is giving rec
ognition to the relentlessness of
facts. The interest of the general
good, the need to equalize oppor
tunities, and to prevent oppression,
have led to interference on the part
of the state. The state is becoming
an instrument of social welfare."
Incidentally, Ivan "The Terrible"
McDaniel was one of the lawyers rep
resenting the plaintiff. Ivan has been
Washington representative for the
agriculture producers' labor commit
tee. the legislative arm of the so-called
Associated Farmers, which is now be
ing investigated by the LaFollette
civil liberties committee.
SOCIAL WORKERS
STATE PRINCIPLES
In the mailbox of every congress
man recently there was placed an
interesting and important document.
It was the statement of principles
drawn up by the editorial board of
Social Work Today, an organ of pro
fessional social workers, and signed
by 76 national and local leaders in
social work.
On the basis of this statement of
principles discussion will be started
in the numerous social work organi
zations existing all over the country.
It consisted of seven points. They
were:
1. "There is a very tangible corre
lation between unsatisfied social and
economic need and the decision of a
people to go to war ....
2. "The wars in Europe and Asia
supply no real economic basis for the
discontinuance or reduction of any of
the public and priVate social services
now being offered the American peo
pie.
3. "Existing social and civil services
must not be geared into a military
Any program relating to
program.
military preparation should be pre
sented as such to the American peo
ple.
4. "The most earnest consideration
should be given to effective legislation
for taking the profits out of war ....
5. "Civil rights must be jealously
guarded in this period. Implicit In
the tendency to limit free speech, free
assembly, free press and the freedom
of political opinion in times of stress,
is a cynicism about the democratic
process.
6. "Social workers are willing, of
course, to offer assistance, as they
have always done, to war s victims.
But they consider the prevention of
war to be of infinitely greater im
portance than such ministration after
the event.
7. "Social work has always been
committed to a program of positive
education for democratic living . . . ."
IT'S A GREAT
SYSTEM
By JOHN PAINE
(Federated Press)
So far as the reactionary Demo
crats are concerned, they hope the
1940 convention will be Garner with
the Wind.
• • •
Write Your Own Ticket
A new organization in Seattle wants
to give two votes to every homeowner
against one for non-property owners.
That's not enough protection for the
have-class. We suggest:
5 votes for every citizen who owns
a Cadillac.
10 votes for every employer, with a
bonus of 10 more votes if he runs a
non-union shop.
25 votes for every citizen who will
sign an affidavit that Roosevelt has
♦ * •
This department begs to acknowl
edge receipt of Donald R. Richberg's
pamphlet, The Mexican Oil Seizure,
sent us with the compliments of W.
S. Parish, president of the Standard
Oil Co. of New Jersey.
Somebody in Standard Oil is «going
to catch hell for omitting the union
label.

Mining News
Miners in Butte, Mont., are prepared
to start silver mining operations in
their own union.
They're going to extract a half-dol
lar fine for every month's delay in
paying union dues.
When an Ohio local of the Ameri
can Newspaper Guild nominated West
brook Pegler for Guild president after
the deadline for nominations has
passed, a copyreader on The New
York Post found a still better gag
for his head on the AP story: GUILD
PRESIDENCY DECLINES PEGLER.
Mystery Story
There should be something funny to
say about the South Dakota man who
got a haircut without removing his
hat, but the best we can suggest is
that the customer probably had
nothing to conceal.

Labor unions in Philadelphia are
raising a ruckus because of a 1.5%
tax on wages to balance the budget
for a corrupt city administration.
In France, however, the unions are
politely accepting a 15% tax.
What a whale of a difference a little
war makes.
* •
Wild Life
Now that the plight of starving
ducks on the ice-bound marshes of
Long Island has been alleviated by
Ducks Unlimited Inc., we'd like to
see a few loaves of bread scattered
to the unemployed.
The objection is, we suppose, that
under present laws there is no open
season when the food value of the
! jobless could be utilized by sports
1 men.
'
«
A pamphlet produced by LaFollette
committee investigators in Los An
geles contained a warning by an em
ployer agent that if strikebreakers
didn't get better treatment, "they
might even organize."
Isn't there anybody a boss can
trust?
The American Way
From the employer's standpoint, it
might be a good idea to have the
scabs and finks in a union, operating
under written contract.
Thus the International Association
of Rats & Kindred Animals could be
required to guarantee that its mem
bers would not pocket more than 50%
of the fares in bus strikes, or carry
home more than $1,000 worth of com
pany property per man.
DEMAND THE UNION LABEL !
r
«
J
A NEW FRONTIER
».
By RICHARD LAKE
When the depression began thos«
of us who had discovered Marx and
fancied ourselves communists found
ourselves enjoying a position of stead
ily increasing prestige among our fel
lows. We were almost alone in our
ability to speak of calamity and dis
aster in rational terms and without
invoking an apparently deep-lying fear
of the "twilight of civilization." We
knew why the thing had happened,
and we had remedies. Simple, prac
tical, carefully-planned remedies. Our
joy and confidence in our remedies
placed us in another exclusive minor
ity; we were among the few who saw
something besides doom in the black
clouds of economic catastrophe. We
saw a chance to rebuild the world,
and do it right this time.
Our being communists had as its
most noticeable effect the enhance
ment of our own self-esteem,
were in the know. We had our feet
on the ground. We had courage and
vision, and a sure critical analysis that
pierced contemporary fogs where the
wisdom of others failed. We were in
the vanguard of the great historical
movement that would bring man for
ward "from the kingdom of necessity"
and allow him to function in his true
status as a civilized animal.
Those of us who were very young
and very dogmatic (as I was) felt
We
our on
road that led toward the goal of hu
man progress. If you cannot under
stand what that feeling meant to con
fused youth at the close of the Tumul
tous Twenties, you have been very
little aware of the dynamics of our
age. Even now, after the Threadbare
Thirties (and perhaps because we
have lived so long with uncertainty
that we have become accustomed to
it), there is no such naive groping as
there was in 1929. We face the Futile
Forties with something close to con
fidence. Experience has been an effi
cient, even if rough, teacher.
But then we were naive. We knew
even less of economics than we know
now, and much less than the pitiful
fragments we have by now learned
about ourselves. Our study of Marx
ism contributed nothing to either
fund. With loud glad yelps we set
out to remake the world in the name
of Marx as interpreted by Lenin and
Stalin. We were the most intensely
sectarian persons imaginable, and the
most intolerant. No slightest devia
tion from the line could escape an
exhaustive analysis and denunciation.
No good Intentions, no tentative or
experimental works would suffice;
ours was a salvation based strictly
upon faith.
The reader will be aware of my ob
vious generalizations. Few of my
friends or- acquaintances actually
joined the party. Many took part in
social service or public agency work;
some in actual political organization.
But many more, like myself, came no
closer to actual radical organizing or
progressive movements than the de
bates and bull sessions which we held
incessantly among ourselves. We
were, of course, for from great indus
really went on, and the experience I
am describing may seem a trifle ridic
ulous. Yet I think I have a point in
describing it.
The truth is that all of us who were
eager to the "communists" were poor
in some important respect; and for
that poverty our identification with
"communism" seemed to compensate
adequately. Perhaps we had a tough
time getting a job; or we had a deep
seated sense of social inferiority; or
we were starved emotionally; or we
had no place to Invest our energies
except dull routine; or the hypocrisy
and ignorance of our public leaders
was too sickening to endure. None of
these poverties was to our discredit,
for we shared them in some degree
with all other Americans. We wanted
something done. So did millions of
other American. But they performed
the routines of compensation in other,
less conspicuous movements.
I cannot claim to have threaded the
labyrinth of propaganda and slain the
minotaur of self-delusion at its center,
and so won freedom. I was only
aware finally that with all our ap
parently inexhaustible vigor in cham
pioning the cause of the proletariat
and of human justice, we were doing
nothing about what was to all of us
the most important of all problems:
ourselves. It was well that I was far
removed from actual radical activities
or I should have had to wait for the
pact between Stalin and Hitler to
come to my senses. At least many
I did was to become gradually and
shamefacedly aware of my dishonesty
and of the confusion of my loyalties.
I had the help of a great and wise
man. Because his advice was not en
tirely original with him, but was com
pounded of many wisdoms all along
the line, I shall not quote him as an
oracle. He would not like it anyhow.
He taught me that what counts is not
the content of men's ideas but where
those ideas came from and what gave
them birth. The new frontier is the
conquest of self, he said, and all re
volutions will fail until we have done
not mean that we should try God. I
But his remarks set me to reviewing
the communist religion, with its bible,
its theology, its god, its hierarchy, its
devil, and its hell.
I am aware, as many of my radical
contemporaries seem not to be, of the
that job.
The man was not a priest. He did
danger of analogies. Nevertheless I
believe that my experience and the
experience of those I have observed
helps to illustrate the experience of
America. America was young, arro
gant, dogmatic; she suffered from
many poverties and much poorly har
monized growth. America heard the
challenge of communism, and many
more of her citizens than will ever
admit found themselves inspired by
the hope of leveling class privilege,
of living their lives in common, of
planning their inexhaustibly rich econ
omy so that no one should know
Communism was so dramatic
want.
and noisy, and it hit us at a time
when we were so wretchedly bewild
ered that we forgot how many similar
dreams we had cherished from other
creeds; from Mormonlsm, from the
Populists, from the Founding Fathers.
Does anyone want an illustrative
analysis of communist propaganda?
It is too easy. Take your little tools
and whittle it out for yourselves. They
have always been excessive in name
calling, but of late years they have
become expert at transfer, glittering
generality, testimonial, and card stack
ing. Most obvious of their transfer
devices is the famous slogan, "Com
munism is twentieth-century Ameri
canism." Card stackisg is the tech
nique of all their front organizations,
whose doings and declarations they
are loud to praise in support of their
objective of the moment. It is also
evident in their selectivity in publish
ing the news of the world while at
the same time denouncing the kept
press.
But while making hay of communist
propaganda, try to remember that
here is only one of the more spectac
ular illustrations of a widespread mis
conception about people in general.
That is the belief that a change of
power can build a new society on an
enduring basis while at the same time
maintaining unchanged the essential
orientation of its people. If you sub
stitute the democratic party for the
republican party, what have you done?
If you substitute the dictatorship of
great wealth for the dictatorship of
the proletariat, what have you done?
You have changed the forms and ig
nored the content. Your people will
continue to oppose the evil to the good
and bind themselves in further chains
of propaganda. Qpe group will con
tinue to exploit another. And the in
dividual will continue to waste in
shame and ignorance and hatred.
I do not mean to disparage the ef
forts of groups in their daily strug
gles tor betterment. I say that our
long-range thôught and our leadership
must be based on a more profound
knowledge of ourselves,
continue to have Dies committees
(and remember that we are all respon
sible for the Dies committee) so long
as we have poverties in our national
life and communisms to issue brilliant
and specious challenges.
We shall
Coast Employers
Oppose Aid for
Migratory Workers
By KARL BARRON
(Federated Press)
Joint opposition by the Los Angeles
Chamber of Commerce and the Asso
ciated Farmers to administration of
the wage-hour law and the Farm Se
curity program was brought to light as
the LaFollette committee questioned
representatives of both groups in a
crowded courtroom here.
On the stand at one time were
Howard A. Miller of the agriculture
department of the chamber of com
merce, ex-Pres. Bishop
Associated Farmers'" of California,
Pres. John Watson, Treas. Henry
Strobel and Exec. Sec. Harold Pom
eroy, all of the A. F.
Questioning by Sen. Robert M. La
Follette and Sen. Elbert D. Thomas
revealed that big employers of farm
labor oppose adequate relief because
seasonal laborers will not leave relief
rolls to harvest corps at wages the
farmers care to pay. The employers
advocated return to relief administra
tion by county agencies.
Chief objection to the wage-hour
law was the interpretation of exempt
"agricultural labor." Strobel testified
that the perishability of many Cali
fornia crops made it advisable to in
terpret the act so loosely that all
workers involved in the process from
harvesting to marketing be consid
ered farm laborers,
elude pickers, teamsters, packing
house laborers and warehousemen.
When questioning turned to the
FSA migratory camps, Bishop said:
"These camps have sometimes become
infested with agitators to the degree
that residents in the camps have
asked Associated Farmers to help get
rid of them because farmers were
not coming there any more for work
ers."
He would in
All witnesses agreed that the vast
surplus of agricultural labor was a
"serious problem." James Wood, ex
pert for the investigating committee,
testified that there are four workers
for every available job.
work a year was all the employing
farmers could offer the average labor
er, and denied that low wages were
the reason for labor trouble in Cali
fornia. The witness, who became no
torious for his ruthless treatment of
strikers during 'the Salinas lettuce
strike of 1936, declared: "We have
never refused to bargain with our
workers."
Discussing the living conditions of
migrants, Miller said the type of
homes the migrants left ln dustbowl
areas had set a bad precedent.
"Migrants brought conditions of life
which were deplorable," Miller said.
"And is it difficult to get them to
accept better conditions ?" LaFollette
asked,
"That has been the caso," Miller re
turned. "However," he added hesi
tantly, "I can see some good to come
from these people."
Though the Associated Farmers
were treated by LaFollette as expert
witnesses, they showed a pathetic
lack of understanding of the problems
facing agriculture. They rejected the
efforts of the federal government to
ameliorate the plight of the migrant
laborers through the Farm Security
Administration, relief and other activ
ities. But they had no constructive
program to submit as an alternative.
Into the record went statements by
the employer group, denying that
housing conditions were inadequate,
that there was a scarcity of sanitary
facilities.
"Health facilities have
never been a problem in this area,"
corroborated Miller, blandly.

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