MAY 11, 1944
PITTSBURGH, Wednesday—Last evening I went to Freedom House to speak at the opening of an exhibit which shows, in photographs and documents, information collected by the underground information center, functioning under the American Labor Archives and Research Institute, Inc.
Here we see what labor and social conditions are like in Europe today. This is an attempt to show the force of passive and aggressive resistance to the invader by European underground organizations, and by the representatives of free labor who are now in exile in other countries.
This exhibition should be of great interest to us in this country, for it will serve as a valuable source of information to those who attempt to restore free government in the conquered countries after the war.
It has been obvious for a long time that labor needed a research institute, but in order to do research, one must first gather material. This is now being done, and the function of the Labor Archive and Research Institute is first to collect, preserve and make available the historical records of the labor movement; second, to promote research studies that will be useful to labor and civic bodies.
This institute should help to give the public a better understanding of questions which arise between labor and management. If the institute uses impartial, scientific research methods and people who can be trusted to make objective and comprehensive studies on any question presented to them, I think this may prove a great factor in bringing about better understanding between capital and labor, and a better informed public opinion on controversial questions. Here is one activity in which the American Federation of Labor and the Congress of Industrial Organizations are joining together, and on the executive committee and advisory board appear the names of people who haven't often been in the same room during the past few years.
Any division in the ranks of labor is regrettable because just as we need unity as a country to win the war, so workers must be united to preserve their democratic rights and strengthen our democracy.
Last night I took the train to Pittsburgh, Pa., and I have a fairly busy day here beginning with a visit to the USO at the station and a press conference. At noon I pay a short visit to the American Legion lunch and give a speech at the Rotary Club luncheon. My greatest interest is in visiting the Deshon General Hospital in Butler, Pa., where the Army is doing such interesting work with the boys whose hearing has been impaired. I will tell you more about this tomorrow. After speaking to the teachers this evening, I am taking a night train for Washington.