Public Control of Labor Relations: A Study of the National Labor Relations Board

By D. O. Bowman | Go to book overview

Chapter XXIV. THE BOARD AND THE ADMINISTRATIVE PROCESS

As applied to the Board, the shibboleths of 1940 formed a pungent parade that matched the shibboleths flung at preceding administrative agencies. To justify the destruction of the administrative process, some of the popular phrases revived and emphasized were: "The basic elements of fair play"; "Administrative absolutism"; "Judge, Jury, and Prosecutor"; and "Separation of powers." Such phrases are meant to apply to the tripartite division of powers making up the representative government, for the administrative method of control combines in one agency the executive, the legislative, and the judicial functions. Made necessary by the demonstrated inability of the judiciary to function so as to make law have individual meaning in a social setting where traditional governmental machinery clashed with changing economic processes, the administrative method of control may be in part regarded as an answer to Marxism and a manifestation of the logic that government control may mean not less but more freedom.

Whether such a method of economic control is successful should no longer be a major issue, as unfortunately it seems to be. Present studies of the method should be devoted to searching out weaknesses in order that improvements may be brought. The method will not be improved by divorcing the combined functions, for divorce would only reestablish the inflexibility, the inexpertness, the lack of continuity, and the slowness which constituted the raison d' être for the development of the administrative method.

Those who have opposed the Act, and more particularly those who would change the administrative process, have attempted to

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