Harry S. Truman photo

Statement by the President: Labor Day.

September 02, 1951

IN EXTENDING Labor Day greetings to the workers of the United States and in offering my congratulations to the great labor movement of which they are rightfully proud to be members, I prayerfully hope that all our people may recapture the spirit of social justice and human brotherhood which was originally associated with Labor Day. We have made great progress since 1894 in establishing the rights of labor and in promoting the general welfare of the American economy. But we still have a long way to go.

Our domestic responsibility at this critical period in the Nation's history is threefold. First, we must develop our productive and military resources to such a peak that the totalitarian enemies of freedom will eventually see the madness of their monstrous program of world domination. Secondly, it is important to guarantee equality of sacrifice in the defense mobilization program. And last, it is our purpose to achieve these two objectives democratically and cooperatively. The American labor movement is second to no other group in its determination to pursue these three objectives simultaneously. American labor is wholeheartedly in favor of all-out economic mobilization and equality of sacrifice. Even more important, it is in favor of carrying out these objectives democratically and in a spirit of voluntary cooperation between organized labor, management, and the Government.

We believe in democratic cooperation between organized labor and management and between labor, management, and Government. We believe in industrial democracy, as opposed to unregulated competition on the one hand and excessive governmentalism on the other. We believe in freedom, not the unregulated license of laissez-faire, but freedom religiously dedicated and consciously ordered to the general welfare.

We believe in these things not only for workers in our own country, but throughout the world. We recognize the dangers that face the freedom of millions of workers in many other countries. We know, moreover, that lasting peace and security can be achieved only when workers everywhere are vouchsafed the privileges and the rights that are legally recognized and protected in the United States.

As President of the United States, I congratulate the American labor movement on the soundness of its traditions and policies and pledge my continued support of its ideals. Working together--labor, management, and Government--we can safeguard our material standard of living. Even more important than that, we can hand down to our children a glorious heritage of freedom, without which even a life of material abundance and prosperity is hardly worth the living. With the help of God we can achieve the goals we have set for ourselves and help to bring peace to the world.

Harry S Truman, Statement by the President: Labor Day. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/230707

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