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ference, speaking for the President, announced the desire of the latter that the nature of the conference itself should be changed because of the change of conditions and that the work should be carried on by the public group alone, inasmuch as the burden of industrial quarrels falls ultimately upon the public. The wish of the President was stated by the chairman to be that the public group should continue in session as a group and make a report and give advice and suggestions as to the future industrial policy of the Nation. These proposals were to be presented to the President.

With that announcement the conference as then constituted was adjourned sine die.

The public group immediately met to canvass the possibilities.
After an adjournment until the following day it met again and
addressed the following communication to the President:

Sir: The delegates appointed by you as representatives of the general public in the industrial conference just closed beg to submit the following report:

The conference proper opened on October 6 and terminated on October 23, sitting in all 13 days. The public group held 23 meetings for the discussion of the various matters brought before the conference.

The public group, as was intended, differed from the other groups, representing labor and capital, in one important particular. It had not the homogeneity of interest of either of these groups; it represented rather a cross section of American life. Among its members were employers of labor, large and small, farmers, capitalists, representatives of labor, socialists, and professional students of social and industrial problems. Notwithstanding this diversity of interest and relation there was manifested throughout an astonishing amount of agreement upon the most vital subjects. This we regard as a most hopeful sign for the future and an evidence of the possibility of a united action in the interest of the entire Nation.

The existence of the steel strike had the effect of focusing interest and attention upon the present conflict as against constructive measures and agreement for the future, and made the calm discussion of such constructive measures difficult. Because it was manifestly impossible to dispose of this subject by agreement under the rules of the conference, which required concurrence of at least a majority of each of the three groups, the conference decided to defer action upon the question until the subject of collective bargaining had been passed upon.

After several days of earnest endeavor and numerous attempts at adjustment between the points of view of the several groups the conference failed to agree upon this issue.

In this connection we deem it important to emphasize the fact that the conference did not, at any time, reject the principle of the right of workers to organize and to bargain collectively with their employers. Neither the conference as a whole nor any one group in the conference opposed that right. The difficulty that arose and the issue upon which the conference failed to agree was not upon the principle involved but upon the method of making it effective.

In our judgment even this difficulty would not have been insurmountable had the conference approached its task in another way.

Obviously, the important principle of collective bargaining can not be sharply separated from other elements in the great problem of the relation of employers and employed. The right of organization, the protection, in the exercise of their lawful rights, of those who seek to organize the workers; the careful definition of the various


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forms of organization through which the right may be exercised; and the machinery necessary for adjusting disputes arising in connection with that right-must all be taken into account in their proper relation.

We believe that the experience of this conference, and of similar conferences elsewhere, clearly shows the futility of attempting to deal with this great question in a piecemeal way, by adopting detached and unrelated resolutions. The only efficient method, in our judgment, is that of formulating a comprehensive and systematically developed program.

We believe that the right of workers to organize for the purpose of collectively bargaining with their employers, through representatives of their own choosing, can not be denied or assailed. As representatives of the public we can interpret this right only in the sense that wage earners must be free to choose what organizations or associations, if any, they will join for this purpose.

In the recognition of the right of workers so organized to be represented by representatives of their own choice difficulties will from time to time arise. We believe that it would be possible for a properly constituted arbitral authority to adjust such difficulties with justice and fairness to all parties concerned.

The abrupt termination of the conference prevented any discussion in the conference of the important matter of the right of workers to strike and of the methods whereby, without destroying or impairing that right, the public interest may be adequately conserved and protected.

We are deeply impressed by the necessity of setting up some machinery for effecting the speedy adjustment of disputes arising between workers and employers, whether the latter be private individuals or firms, or public and governmental authorities. In this connection there was submitted to the conference by the Secretary of Labor, Hon. W. B. Wilson, a well-considered plan for establishing the necessary machinery for conciliation and arbitration. Because this plan was not considered by the conference, owing to the manner of its termination, we do not here express any judgment upon it further than to say that we believe it affords a possible basis for a solution of the immediate problem and deserves serious consideration and study.

It is impossible to discuss in detail the numerous schemes for affording to workers representation in the regulation of the conditions of labor, the plans for profit sharing, the many forms of shop councils, and the like. We respectfully suggest that a very great service could be rendered to the Nation, to employers and employees alike, if in the Department of Labor there were established a bureau for the purpose of gathering and making available accurate information concerning all such experiments and their results. Such a bureau could give expert advice and assistance to any persons desiring to undertake plans for bettering labor conditions in particular establishments.

As representatives of the general public we are of the opinion that the standards relating to the employment of women and children advocated by the Woman's Division and the Children's Bureau of the United States Department of Labor should be favorably considered,

We do not believe that this group can at this time with advantage further proceed with the discussion of the great questions with which we have been dealing. It may well be, however, that a small committee, selected by you, composed of persons of varied interests and points of approach, could take up the matter and prepare along some such lines as herein indicated a program which will be of present value. Upon the presentation of the report of such a committee steps could be taken to give it practical effect through another conference representing capital. labor, and the public, if in the circumstances then existing it should seem to you to be wise.

In closing this report and terminating our labors, we desire to give expression to our conviction that the conference has been of very real educational value to all those privileged to participate in it. The frank and sincere interchange of opinions, views, and experiences, both within the groups and between them through individual contact, has given, we believe, to every member of the conference a broader vision and understanding and helped each to see the problems of the other.

Assuring you of our profound respect, and solicitude for your recovery, we have the honor to be, Very truly, yours,


BERNARD M. BARUCH, Chairman. OCTOBER 24, 1919.

After thus presenting their views, the public group adjourned sine die, thus bringing all the conference proceedings to an end.



With the close of the last fiscal year seven cases were carried over into the present year, nearly all of which had just been brought to the attention of the department. All these were speedily settled, with one exception.

The war-time machinery of many of the governmental agencies continued to function until a few weeks after the signing of the armistice, November 11, but it was soon evident that, although legally our Nation was still in a state of war, both employers and employees, nevertheless, considered the war as practically at an end. It soon became more difficult to handle the disputes which arose than during the period in which our country was actually engaged in war. This was not only our own experience, but it was the experience of governmental agencies with which the Department of Labor had worked in cooperative relations. Following the signing of the armistice and the beginning of demobilization the existing good relations between employers and wage earners were very much disturbed. This was noticeably reflected in the attitude of all persons engaged in the manufacture of war materials. During the latter part of 1917 and during 1918, harmonious relations had been agreed to by all in order that our military needs should be taken care of promptly and efficiently. A patriotic impulse had stirred both the employer and the worker and many differences that, based upon our experience in normal times, would have caused a suspension of operations were very lightly passed over and adjusted without recourse to either strikes or lockouts. So, during the period from July 1 to November 11-what may be called the war months—the Division of Conciliation encountered few difficulties in making harmonious adjustments. From November 11 until the present date, the readjustment of industry from war to peace time activities, the reemployment of demobilized soldiers, and the transfer of workers from war industries to normal production have all contributed to the general unrest so noticeable not only in our country but throughout the world.

When the armistice was signed the Division of Conciliation immediately entered into cooperation with all governmental branches interested in the various grave problems of industrial readjustment. With the termination of war emergency appropriations on June 30, 1919, many war-emergency organizations ceased to function wholly or in part. As a consequence, various branches of the Department of Labor were called upon to take over some part of their activities, and the Conciliation Division, therefore, found it necessary to do its part. The problems of readjustment were many. Methods of conciliation employed in normal times and in war times had to be changed to meet new conditions. The sudden cessation of war was followed immediately by the cancellation of war contracts and the temporary closing down of many industries for the purpose of installing machinery and equipment for the resumption of the manufacture of the customary peace-time products. The demobilization of the Army soon followed the demobilization of our huge industrial army of workers and added to the burden through the introduction of large numbers of unemployed-always a cause of unrest. The cases handled by the department at this time presented many new and perplexing problems caused by the transition processes, and while in most instances it was more difficult to secure as speedy settlement as usual, the high general average of satisfactory adjustments was gratifying.

It must be remembered that during the entire time our country was engaged in war not a single general strike occurred in any important industry, and for months at a time there was not a serious dispute in the coal industry, the shipbuilding industry, the lumber industry, the oil industry, or on the transportation systems of the United States.

As has been stated in previous reports, the Department of Labor has no power and exercises none through this division to make decisions or awards in disputes submitted to it. It can not hand down an award and then demand that the employers and employees concerned shall abide by its decisions. The work of conciliation is more diplomatic than judicial. Conciliators act as industrial peacemakers, endeavoring to get contending parties together, so that they may more readily agree upon a solution of their own problems in their own way, suggesting methods and alternatives that have been proved, and that tend toward a peaceful adjudication of the matters in dispute. It has been the policy of the Department of Labor not to endeavor to impose its viewpoint upon either the worker or the management in any dispute that may arise, but rather to find some basis mutually acceptable, even though it may not be mutually satisfactory. It is in this spirit that all our problems of conciliation in labor controversies are approached. As a result conciliators are often able to remove the barriers which prevent employers and employees from meeting on common ground, and thus the way is paved for freer relations and a broader grasp of their respective rights and corresponding obligations. The fact is brought home to each that there is another side; and even in the absence of immediate success, the seed has been sown which bears fruit in some modification of working conditions or a

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