SEPTEMBER 14, 1953
HYDE PARK, Sunday—I was not very much surprised to read the announcement of Secretary of Labor's resignation from the Cabinet. I felt all along that his ideas and those of the Administration were not likely to proceed along the same lines.
It will be interesting to see what choice the President will make for this very difficult job of reconciling labor's real interests with the Administration's attitude toward labor problems in general. Most of our enlightened business men have come a long way in the last 10 or 15 years and they realize that a solution of labor problems requires a meeting of minds between labor and employers. But to get this meeting of minds is no easy job, and the man at the head of the Labor Department who brings it about will be somewhat of a miracle man.
It seems to me, also, that today there is an additional problem for the head of our Department of Labor. This is the educational problem. You hear more and more business people speak slightingly of the International Labor Organization, yet this organization is of great importance to industry as well as labor. ILO was carefully set up with the intention of bringing in the three vital elements that make progress for conditions of labor throughout the world possible—government, industry and the worker. Many other areas of the world have signed ILO agreements which we have not signed, the argument being that our conditions were far better than those set up by ILO. But every step forward made through ILO agreements in other parts of the world is of great importance to us, for it more nearly equalizes the conditions of labor and makes competition between nation and nation a much fairer proposition.
All these things, I believe, should be understood throughout our country. In a way, the head of the Department of Labor has both a national and an international obligation to carry forward the education of people throughout our country on labor problems both here and in the world as a whole.
My apartment is getting a little more settled. I still have more furniture than I really need and am gradually moving it back to Hyde Park. It takes me quite a while to get accustomed to new surroundings, but I am beginning to feel much more at home. I hope that in another couple of weeks I will not have to think about new things that have to be done, but will just be able to live a normal and everyday life.
Friday afternoon I went up to Hyde Park. My granddaughter and her husband, Mr. di Bonaventura, came up for the night. It is always exciting to meet new members of the family and I am delighted to meet such a charming new grandson.