Truman and Taft-Hartley: A Question of Mandate

By R. Alton Lee | Go to book overview

2
THE SEARCH FOR A
RECONVERSION LABOR PROGRAM

AT THE END of the war, President Truman was determined that the nation should convert to a peacetime economy as quickly as possible. To achieve this end he was resolved to rebuild the Department of Labor, which had lost so many of its functions to special wartime agencies such as the War Labor Board, the War Manpower Commission, and the U. S. Employment Service. Frances Perkins, the New Deal secretary of labor, had indicated her desire to resign, so Truman searched for a replacement. Her successor's primary job of rebuilding would be complicated by the current labor unrest. Lewis Schwellenbach, an old Senate crony and currently a federal judge in Washington, was chosen for this task; he was a man who Truman said, "saw right down the same alley on public policy" with him. 1

Coinciding with his desire to strengthen the Department of Labor was Truman's conviction that true collective bar

____________________
1
Truman, Memoirs, I, 325.

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