Federalist Aspirations in the States
A merican entry into the European war in April 1917 precipitated an intense struggle between the rival proponents of a federalist or a centralist USES. The federalist cause received some initial support in the summer and fall of 1917 from a remarkable demonstration of the efficiency of the Ohio employment service, which also served to underline the fact that existing employment expertise was concentrated in the states and not in the Department of Labor's embryonic USES. Both sides sought support for their position within the wartime administration in Washington. However, in spite of intense lobbying in support of the federalist cause, the Department of Labor was able to retain exclusive control over the USES and even to expand the organization by temporarily transferring Immigration Service officers to employment work. By the winter of 1917-18, the effort to create a federalist USES seemed to have been thwarted.
The potential of existing state employment services to organize the wartime labor market was very clearly demonstrated in Ohio immediately after Congress declared war. The key figure in Ohio was Fred C. Croxton. Forty- six years of age, with an LL.B. and an LL.M from George Washington University, Croxton had been appointed chief statistician for the U.S. Immigration Bureau in 1907. Three years later, he switched to the Bureau of Labor Statistics to supervise the preparation of its extensive series of industrial and social reports. In 1913, the newly established Ohio Industrial Commission invited him to take charge of industrial mediation and statistical work for that state. While in that post he was also instrumental in reorganizing the Ohio public employment offices. A foundation member of the