MARCH 15, 1951
HYDE PARK, Wednesday—It is good to learn that Dr. Frank Graham is back working at the Labor Department. I am quite sure he will be a help to Secretary Maurice J. Tobin, and if anything can be done to smooth out the present misunderstandings between defense mobilizer Charles E. Wilson and the labor leaders, Dr. Graham's calm judgment will be helpful.
I listened to a gentleman the other day who felt very firmly that the cost of labor has been the cause for constantly rising prices and that therefore labor costs should be stabilized before prices could be stabilized. I suggested mildly that the vast majority of people, including labor, were consumers who lived on what they earned. Therefore, I maintained that prices would have to be stabilized before wages could be, especially in the lower-income brackets. He answered that he couldn't get anyone to do any work for him under $20 a day and no member of an organized labor group was making anything less than that these days. In fact, as I listened, I began to feel that organized workers, from this point of view, really were earning more than many executives. And it made me wonder if James Carey of the CIO knew what he was talking about when he said that Mr. Wilson, who had become accustomed to earning around $5,000 a week, had found it hard to visualize the situation for the man earning $60 a week. Mr. Carey feels that Mr. Wilson and his associates are more concerned with profits for the big industries and not so concerned with holding down prices.
Certainly, in two days' time I was hearing two entirely different points of view. I still incline to believe, however, that this question of wage and price stabilization must come simultaneously. So, perhaps Dr. Graham's wisdom can help work out some of these problems.
Yesterday I had an opportunity to hear some of the people who worked closely on the review of the cases of war criminals in Germany and recommended to U.S. High Commissioner John J. McCloy what they felt should be done in each case. They told me the three people who had been chosen to make the reviews came to this work from different backgrounds, but they determined to review each case entirely on its merits and to consider any new testimony carefully. They hoped to make a clear demonstration of how our democratic processes of justice worked in the United States.
They reviewed the papers in each case separately and they found their conclusions were similar. After discussions together they were able to arrive at a unanimous report. Mr. McCloy then spent a long while with them, not immediately on receiving the reports, but at a later date when the chairman of the group returned to Germany for a week's intensive review.
This review group feels that substantial justice has now been done. It pointed out, however, that all restoration of property was subject to laws and regulations that were still not complete.
Of course, we all know that even the best system sometimes does not achieve justice. But we cannot do more than demonstrate how we could carry out a careful and objective review in the United States, and I am convinced that the men who undertook to do this acted with complete integrity.