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Statement on the Appointment of the Secretary of Labor.

November 28, 1930


"I have appointed William N. Doak, of the Brotherhood of Railroad Trainmen, as Secretary of Labor. Mr. Doak has been identified with organized labor all his adult life. For 16 years he has been a general officer of the trainmen, taking part in great numbers of labor negotiations. I have received endorsements of Mr. Doak from several score of labor unions, some of whom are members of the American Federation of Labor. I know that Mr. Doak will represent all labor in his public duties, and that he will reinforce the sympathetic attitude of the administration to the great problems of the wage earner.

"While President [William] Green has publicly stated that he will oppose Mr. Doak's appointment because Mr. Doak's union is not affiliated with the American Federation of Labor, he informs me that he holds Mr. Doak in the highest personal esteem.

"I do not feel that I can consent to the principle of debarment of the railway employees, or other labor unions and associations, or any labor man in the United States, from the opportunity or the aspiration to attain any office in this land. I have the highest respect for Mr. Green and the American Federation of Labor, but Mr. Green's enunciation that appointments must come from one organization in fact imposes upon me the duty to maintain the principle of open and equal opportunity and freedom in appointments to public office."

Note: Mr. Doak was appointed to succeed James J. Davis, who resigned to become a Senator from Pennsylvania.

Herbert Hoover, Statement on the Appointment of the Secretary of Labor. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/212531

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