Marshall Olds: ANALYSIS OF THE INTERCHURCH WORLD MOVEMENT REPORT

CONSIDERING then merely the Interchurch Report itself without reference to any outside facts as to its origin or authorship, it is plain and conclusive that:

First: The Interchurch Report as a whole, and in general as to its separate and detailed conclusions is based on evidence that is plainly insufficient. The "rock-bottom evidence" of the whole Report is stated by the Report itself to consist of "500 affidavits" which are chiefly from "the mass of low-skilled foreigners." Irrespective of the value of these 500 affidavits themselves, it is hardly possible under any circumstances that 500 such affidavits could constitute adequate evidence of facts as to the point of view of 500,000 workers and as to the operation of a great basic industry.

Moreover, in specific and detailed argument throughout the Report, the evidence presented is equally inadequate, repeatedly consisting merely of some one or few isolated, dramatic incidents or allegations from which the Report immediately generalizes and draws sweeping conclusions.

Second: Chiefly because of its persistence in generalizing from insufficient evidence, the Interchurch Report is repeatedly and conspicuously self-contradictory in regard to major conclusions. For instance:

It frequently repeats the statement-- as one of its main arguments for the need of "Collective Bargaining"--that the workers as a matter of practice cannot take their grievances any higher than the foreman. Yet in a majority of the evidence which the Report itself later presents, consisting of affidavits of low- skilled foreign workers in regard to specific grievances, these affidavits definitely state that these workers actually did take their grievances "from the foreman to the superintendent," or "to the main office," or "to the General Superintendent," or "to the general manager."

The Interchurch Report states, as a major conclusion, that common labor worked ( 1919) 74 hours a week--over 12 hours a day. It states as another major conclusion that the annual wage of steel common labor for 1919 was "under $1466 a year." As a matter of simple arithmetic, based on the known and admitted wage rate, if common labor averaged over twelve hours a day, their wages were not "under $1466 a year," but between $1700 and $1800 a year, or else common labor worked only 249 days a year which would entirely contradict the whole Interchurch argument that the industry was "speeded up in every direction"--that the workers only got a Sunday off once in 6 months, etc.

The Interchurch Report spends a major part of Chapter II arguing to the conclusion that the steel strike was not "plotted or led by reds or syndicalists

____________________

From Analysis of the Interchurch World Movement Report an the Steel Strike by Marshall Olds, Part II ( New York, G. P. Putnam's Sons, 1922), pp. 371-378, 382, 384-385, 467-468, 470-471, 473-475.

-102-

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