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selves as ineffective or impotent to deal with the subject, because of the fact that the American Federation of Labor was not represented. We declined to go to Stockholm; we declined to go to Berne; we declined to participate in these conferences in which the representatives of labor of the enemy countries would be permitted to participate. We would not meet them so long as the war was on. In August a delegation of five of us went over to the other side, and in addition to the other work we tried to do in the interest of uniting the people of the various allied countries, the labor movement to stand by their respective Governments until was war was won, in addition to that effort, which was no mean job, we attended this allied labor conference in London. We made some propositions, some of them of a patriotic character, and some of them of a practical character, suggestions and propositions, which we expressed the hope would be made part of the treaties between the countries of the world at the peace table, I would like, if I may be permitted, to read these propositions.

The CHAIRMAN. We should be very glad to have you do so, Mr. Gompers.

Mr. GOMPERS. They are the "Proposals of American Federation of Labor delegates to interallied labor conference," London, September 17, 18, 19, and 20, 1918.

We recognize in this world war the conflict between autocratic and democratic institutions; the contest between the principles of self-development through free institutions and that of arbitrary control of government by groups or individuals for selfish ends.

It is therefore essential that the peoples and the governments of all countries should have a full and definite knowledge of the spirit and determination of this interallied conference representative of the workers of our respective countries with reference to the prosecution of the war.

We declare it to be our unqualified determination to do all that lies within our power to assist our allied countries in the marshaling of all of their resources to the end that the armed forces of the central powers may be driven from the soil of the nations which they have invaded and now occupy; and, furthermore, that these armed forces shall be opposed so long as they carry out the orders or respond to the control of the militaristic autocratic governments of the central powers which now threaten the existence of all self-governing people.

With your permission, I shall continue to read this in a few moments, but I want at this point to say that that declaration was adopted at that labor conference, in a conference composed of the same men who, in February of the same year, declared that it was necessary for their Government to open up negotations with Germany and with Austria. That declaration in itself, proposed by the American Federation of Labor delegates, and adopted by that congress, changed the entire phase of the situation.

The CHAIRMAN. Do you mean the September declaration?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes, sir; this declaration of September, as proposed by us.

Senator SWANSON. You substituted that for their proposition to open up negotiations with Germany and Austria?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes, sir.

The CHAIRMAN. And, Mr. Gompers, are you willing to say that as the result of the proposition of the American delegates that came about, or can you say that?

Mr. GOMPERS. I hope I am not vainglorious or vain, and I have said that an overindulgence of modesty is a species of vanity, but I

think I am justified in saying that it was due wholly to the American Federation of Labor delegates that that declaration was adopted at the London Interallied Labor Conference of September, 1918.

Senator ASHURST. That is, the American Federation of Labor offered it, and it was adopted?

Senator PAGE. And you took the initiative in this matter?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes; we took the initiative in the matter, and a conference of men who five months before met and declared for a negotiated peace and not for the winning of the war against autocracy and militarism adopted this proposal.

I may say this, that one of the first things for which we contended was that there should be open sessions of the conference. Theretofore they had held executive meetings, or secret meetings, and gave out what they wanted-probably all that they did but we took the position that inasmuch as labor was denouncing and attacking secret diplomacy, or diplomacy by the underground route, we could not hold our meetings without the public having an opportunity to gaze in upon us, and I, for one, think that it made possible our ability to carry this out.

Senator PAGE. Have you ever considered in this meeting I was not here yesterday this proposition contained in No. 9 of Senate resolution 382, which has reference to the extension of the opportunity for vocational training and education to all the people in the United States disabled by injury or sickness?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes, sir; I have spoken of that this morning, Senator. That has to do with the conservation and salvage of human life and human effort, whether private or public.

Senator PAGE. And in your absence will it be possible for us to have men from the Federation of Labor, who will be accessible, and who will discuss the problem that you have mentioned here this morning?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes; the legislative committeemen, whose names I have already given, and Mr. Morrison, the secretary of the Federation; they would be able to do that.

The further proposal of the American Federation of Labor delegation to the conference was as follows:

This conference indorses the 14 points laid down by President Wilson as conditions upon which peace between the belligerent nations may be established and maintained, as follows:

"(1) Open covenants of peace openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind, but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

"(2) Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas outside territorial waters alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

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'(3) The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to peace and associating itself for its maintenance.


(4) Adequate guarantees, given and taken, that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

"(5) A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principles that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the Government whose title is to be determined.

(6) The evacuation of all Russian territory, and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy,

and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing. and more than a welcome assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire.

"The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs, as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

"(7) Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve. as this will serve, to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

"(8) All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly 50 years, should be righted in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

"(9) A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

"(10) The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the first opportunity of autonomous development.

"(11) Roumania, Servia, and Montenegro should be evacuated, the occupied territories restored, Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea, and the relations of the several Balkan States to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality, and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan States should be entered into.

"(12) The Turkish portions of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

"(13) An independent Polish State should be erected, which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

"(14) A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small States alike.

You see, gentlemen, that we indorse the 14 points laid down by President Wilson.

The CHAIRMAN. And they were set out verbatim.

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes, sir; verbatim. Our proposal continued as follows:

The world is requiring tremendous sacrifices of all the peoples. Because of their response in defense of principles of freedom the peoples have earned the right to wipe out all vestiges of the old idea that the government belongs to or constitutes a "governing class." In determining issues that will vitally affect the lives and welfare of millions of wage earners, justice requires that they should have direct representation in the agencies authorized to make such decisions. We therefore declare that "In the official delegations from each of the belligerent countries which will formulate the peace treaty, the workers should have direct official representation."

In connection with that I will say that in the countries of our allies, while the unity of the working people has not been up to the standard of the unity and the character of the services of the American labor movement, in those countries representatives of labor will be a part of the official peace commission.

Our proposal continues as follows:

We declare in favor of a world-labor congress to be held at the same time and place as the peace conference that will formulate the peace treaty closing the war.

The document continues:

We declare that the following essentially fundamental principles must underlie the peace treaty:

A league of the free peoples of the world in a common covenant for genuine and practical cooperation to secure justice and therefore peace in relations between nations.

No political or economic restrictions meant to benefit some nations and to cripple or embarrass others.

No reprisals based upon purely vindictive purposes or deliberate desire to injure, but to right manifest wrongs.

Recognition of the rights of small nations and of the principle "No people must be forced under sovereignty under which it does not wish to live."

No territorial changes or adjustment of power except in furtherance of the welfare of the peoples affected and in furtherance of world peace.

In addition to these basic principles there should be incorporated in the treaty, which shall constitute the guide of nations in the new period and conditions into which we enter at the close of the war, the following declarations fundamental to the best interests of all nations and of vital importance to wage earners:

That in law and in practice the principle shall be recognized that the labor of a human being is not a commodity or article of commerce.

Involuntary servitude shall not exist except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted.

The right of free association, free assemblage, free speech, and free press shall not be abridged.

That the seamen of the merchant marine shall be guaranteed the right of leaving their vessels when the same are in safe harbor.

No article or commodity shall be shipped or delivered in international commerce in the production of which children under the age of 16 years have been employed or permitted to work.

It shall be declared that the basic workday in industry and commerce shall not exceed eight hours per day.

Trial by jury should be established.

And that is signed by the members of the American Federation of Labor delegation.

You will observe that there were two principles submitted which have become one the law of our land, and the other a constitutional provision; the labor of the human being in law and in fact shall be regarded not as a commodity or article of commerce; the other, the constitutional provision, "involuntary servitude shall not exist except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted." Then, there is the "right of free association, free assemblage, free speech, and free press shall not be abridged." Then, there is the law protecting the rights of seamen.

I believe that these proposals which I submit now as having been approved by our movement and which have my whole-hearted support, together with the report of the reconstruction committee of the American Federation of Labor, I think will form a fairly good basis of suggestions for legislation by Congress.

Senator SWANSON. Can you give us the nations that were represented in this conference at London in September?

Mr. GOMPERS. England, Scotland, France, Italy, Belgium, Canada, Serbia; I can not think of any others.

Senator SWANSON. They had delegates there representing the organized labor in those respective countries? Was that the nature of the representation?

Mr. GOMPERS. Yes, sir.

Senator SWANSON. And organized labor, like the American Federation of Labor, which sent you as an official delegate to appear in these conferences, organized labor in other countries sent their delegations?

Mr. GOMPERS. Except this, sir, that American labor was represented by the American Federation of Labor delegates; the delegates from England were composed of a parliamentary committee; that is, the executives

Senator SWANSON (interposing). In England it is a political party? Mr. GOMPERS. No, not entirely so; not by any means. As a matter of fact, I think I ought to explain the situation in England, as it is not comparable with some of the other countries. In England there are 4,000,000 workmen organized in the trade-unions, and they have formed what they call the British Trade Union Congress; that is, the trade-union movement. The trade-union congress deals purely with legislative matters; the trades-unions, as such, deal with trade matters. Now, in England they organized as a result of the decision in the Taff-Vail case a political party to secure the remedy, the remedy for the trades dispute act of 1906. They organized this party and the party really is the dominating factor of the British labor movement, including the trade-union congress. There were equal representatives-that is, equal voting power-of the British. Trade Union Congress, and the British Labor Party; whereas, the British Labor Party is largely made up of the same membership, it was quite noticeable that in all of the procedure, private conferences or public, that the Labor Party dominated—that is, that the Labor Party leaders dominated. The votes were, as I say, divided between the executives of the Trade Union Congress and the executives of the Labor Party.

In France there was the Confederation Generale du Travail, which was represented by delegates. That is the trade-union movement of France; and then they had the representatives of the Socialist Party of France. That Socialist Party was represented by a majority group and a minority group. The votes of the French delegation to the conference were divided up as between these three groups.

The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Gompers, I believe that the Socialists have a large majority in the Chamber of Deputies, have they not? They are called by that name?

Mr. GOMPERS. They are called Majority Socialists and Minority Socialists, but upon any important declaration the minority vote with the majority and for public reasons they submit to the declaration and declare their adherence to the majority declaration. By the way, in the current issue of the American Federationist I have an editorial upon the French Socialists and the Bolsheviki. It ought not to be a part of this record, but I commend that spring poem to your respectful consideration. You will find in it a series of resolutions adopted by the Socialist Party in France that will open the eyes of many men who have not had an opportunity to see them.

Senator PAGE. That is in your last issue?

Mr. GOMPERS. This current issue.

Senator KENYON. Will you furnish us with that? I ask that it be made a part of the record.

The CHAIRMAN. It is suggested that it be made a part of the record. Is there any objection? The chair hears none, and it will be so ordered.

(The editorial referred to is here printed in full in the record as follows:)

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