Franklin D. Roosevelt

Letter to Senator Carter Glass on Preventing Wage-Scale Reductions.

February 21, 1935

Dear Senator Glass:

In response to your telephonic inquiry, I am very glad to repeat what I told you and several members of your Committee last week.

Every action of the Administration during the past two years has been directed, first, to the objective of raising wage scales which, from the point of view of public interest, were set at unconscionably low levels; and, secondly, we have constantly followed the objective of preventing reductions in existing wage scales.

So much for that, except that I might add that both of these objectives are constantly before us and will continue so to be.

As you are aware, the practical operation of the principle of collective bargaining, plus the operation of the National Industrial Recovery Act, has, in the overwhelming majority of cases of organized and unorganized labor, either raised wages or prevented any reduction in wages.

I object to and deny any assertion that the payment of wages to workers now on the relief rolls at less than the prevailing rate of wages may, under some theory, result in a lowering of wages paid by private employers. I say this because it is an obvious fact—first, that the Federal Government and every State Government will act to prevent reductions, and, secondly, because public opinion throughout the country will not sustain reductions.

I have enough faith in the country to believe that practically 100 percent of employers are patriotic enough to prevent the lowering of wages. In this thought they will have the full support of the Government.

I think that the record of this Administration has demonstrated that in the administering of this legislation I will not permit anything to be done that will result in lowering the wage scale of the Nation.

Very sincerely yours,

Honorable Carter Glass,

United States Senate,

Washington, D. C.

Franklin D. Roosevelt, Letter to Senator Carter Glass on Preventing Wage-Scale Reductions. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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