THE PRESIDENT [following an introduction by Mr. McDonald]. Gentlemen, I am very grateful to President Dave McDonald for giving me this chance to express to you my very best greetings to you all. I was a guest at your convention, I remember, some years ago in Los Angeles, then in Atlantic City. Your President has been kind enough to invite me to your next convention in 1964, and I will be with you then.
I did want to have the chance, speaking to you as we are today from the White House, to express my very best regards to all of you. I have the greatest respect for the Steelworkers Union, for the effort that they have made to take care of their people, to raise the standards within the industry, and also to speak for the United States. I therefore do not want to miss this opportunity to assure you that those of us who work here in Washington are as committed to the welfare of your membership today and in the future as we have been in the past, and to tell you that we will take every possible step to make sure that the steel industry and the workers in this country are moved steadily forward. So I am glad to be here, Dave.
Mr. McDonald: Mr. President, that was very kind of you--your kind words--and I just want to say that we have tried to help you in this most terrific job you have. We know what your problems are on the Hill; we are critical of your critics, believe me. They do not realize what a real tough job you have with the Congress of the United States, so I say to you that anything at all we can do to help you advance your most wonderful program on behalf of the people of the United States, and, in fact, on behalf of the people in most of the world, we are with you.
THE PRESIDENT We are trying to pass legislation and we hope by the time this Congress ends, it will be substantially moved ahead. If not, to carry it to completion next year in the new Congress. Programs which will help our people by providing an opportunity for them--those who are out of school and who cannot find work--which will help some of our workers in their industries who cannot find work to be retrained, which will provide decent standards of unemployment compensation for those who may be between jobs, to provide assistance for health care of the aged and to those who have retired, to provide assistance through public works programs and by other means to our economy to stimulate it forward, to rewrite our tax bills to provide an upward movement to our economy, to deal in a dozen different ways with our domestic strength so that there is an opportunity for all people. I think the Steelworkers this year have made a real contribution to strengthen our country.
The agreement which was made, which was a responsibility, which was made 3 months ahead of time, which was made without a strike, I think, was an example of the kind of responsible unionism with which the United States--Steelworkers have been long identified. I am glad that it was possible for the company, finally, and the union to work together in this matter. I just want to say that I think there are a good many things still left to do in this country. We are committed to try to do them. We seek the support of a House and Senate that will join this effort and not prevent us from taking action on these vital measures which make the difference between prosperity and recession--between a man having a decent job and not having one--between a man being able to send his children to college and not ...
[Display the complete paper]