JUNE 18, 1943
WASHINGTON, Thursday—In writing the other day about the section in the anti-strike bill, which will not permit labor unions to make political contributions, I did not make it clear that there are restrictions on corporations also, but that it is far more difficult for unions to meet a situation where there are restrictions of this kind than it is for corporations.
The heads of corporations can make the maximum individual contributions that are allowed, and can see that other people do the same. That method is not usually possible for the officers of trade unions, and in effect what this clause would do, would be to make it very difficult for the average person of small means to give anything to promote the election of the candidate he is backing. Whereas, it would still be possible for men of means to see that in one way or another, sufficient financial gifts found their way into their candidate's treasury.
Of course, all gentlemen of means do not unite on candidates any more than do all trade union members, but it is easier for the candidate who represents big business to obtain the financial backing needed.
There is a question as to whether the rights or wrongs of political contributions from either labor or business in any way affect the rest of this bill or have any connection with it. I read it over a number of times and I have so far been unable to see why it has a place in the bill.
Last night I went to the Capitol Page Boys School graduation and presented the diplomas to the graduating class. They were a fine looking group of boys, starting on their way, for the most part, into the armed services. One is going to study medicine and there may have been one or two exceptions, but all will be working in some way for the war.
Senator Burton spoke to the parents and friends of the boys, telling of his hope that before long a suitable place would be found to house all these boys together and make this school a resident school. There would be greater opportunities to see that the boys had as healthy and normal a life as possible during the hours when they are not on duty in the Senate and the House. Some of the boys are still so young that it would seem a highly desirable change in their lives.
Two boys who spoke made good speeches, and I think showed that they had profited by listening to oratory in the Senate and the House.