TO THE AMERICAN PUBLIC ON THE MCNAMARA CASE

To the American Public on the McNamara Case: ASTATEMENT ADDRESSED "To the American Public on the McNamara Case" was issued last week by the Ways and Means Committee organized to raise and disburse...

...It quotes the statements made by Samuel Gompers and other labor leaders, immediately following the Times explosion, which declared emphatically that labor does not stand for "such outrages...
...Hurt and Humiliated" "The men of organized labor, in mon with all our people, are grieved beyond expression in words at the loss of life, and the destruction of property, not only in the case under discussion, but in any other case which may have occurred...
...If employers will be but fair and tolerant, they will find more than a responsive attitude on the part of organized labor but, of one thing all may rest assured that with existing conditions of cor centrated wealth and industry, the o ganized toilers of our country reali that there is no hope from abject sl ery outside of the protection which organized labor movement affords...
...The organizations of labor of America have been the most potent factors in the establishment and maintenance of the largest measure of industrial peace...
...To the American Public on the McNamara Case: ASTATEMENT ADDRESSED "To the American Public on the McNamara Case" was issued last week by the Ways and Means Committee organized to raise and disburse the fund for the defense of the McNamara brothers...
...That impression was strengthened by their written and oral protestations of innocence...
...When industrial conditions become unsettled, they are more largely due to the un-ployers' prerogatives, which is regard every effort of the workers to maintain their rights, and to promote their interests, as an invasion of employers' prerogatives, which are resented with consequent struggles...
...We knew all the time that a part of the explosion was due to gas.' " Why Labor Had Suspicions The statement refers to the manner in which enemies of trade unionism, led by General Otis of the Los Angeles Times, denounced trade unions as responsible for the murder of the twenty-one men...
...Unions Help the Workers "The American labor movement has done so much for the workers of our country in improving their condition, in lightening the burdens which the workers have had to bear, bringing light and hope in the homes and in the lives, the factories and the workshops of our country, that it challenges the world of investigators...
...This assurance will be fulfilled...
...We are hurt and humiliated to think that any man connected with the labor movement should have been guilty of either...
...And yet it is an awful commentary upon existing conditions when any one man among all the millions of workers, can bring himself to the frame of mind that the only means to secure justice for labor is in violence, outrage and murder...
...W. J. Burns in a press interview Saturday last said: 'Why, McManigal told us in his first confession that McNamara turned open the stopcocks of the gas mains of the building when he set the bomb...
...The answer has now been supplied by the prosecution...
...It is pointed out that evidences of gas as a factor in the disaster were so conclusive that labor was completely justified in attributing the primary cause to gas, rather than to dynamite...
...Organized labor of America ha^B desire to condone the crimes of theAV Namaras...
...In view of the great uplift work in which the men of the labor movement have been and are engaged, and the industrial problems with which they have to contend, we insist that our organizations of labor should be judged by what they do and aim to do, rather than to be opposed and stigmatized because one or a few may be recreant to the good name and high ideals of labor, and we appeal to the fair minded citizenship and the press of America for fair treatment...
...A report in full will first be made to the Executive Council of the American Federation of Labor, at its meeting to be held at Washington, D. C, January 8, 1912...
...From the outset we assured all contributors and the public generally that we would publish an accounting of the moneys received, from whom received, and to whom paid...
...Will the National Manufacturer's Association, the Erectors' Association and the detective agencies extend the same privilege for public investigation and examination of their books and correspondence...
...The manner of arresting the McNamaras is characterized as "in the Russian style, not American...
...Their course is of a conciliatory character, to reach trade agreements with employers, and the faithful adherence to agreements...
...It says, "trade unionists have been made aware by experience that stories of disorder by unionists during the strikes and lock-outs have been systematically exaggerated...
...Therefore, quite apart from the spirit of hu-manitarianism and justice which prompts the activities of the organ-ized labor movement, policy, and hope for success, forbid the resort to vi lence...
...It says: "The McNamaras stand before the world self convicted of great crimes...
...The position of labor in connection with the effort made to afford these men an opportunity for adequate defense before the courts has been attacked and misrepresented to such a degree as to require a clear* statement at [the hands of the undersigned, who are in the best position to make an authoritative statement at this timea statement that will be strengthened by some review of the principal points of the case " Gas Theory Well Founded The statement then asks, "Was there an explosion of gas in the Los Angeles Times Building, when it was destroyed...
...It will demonstrate now more than ever, the inhumanity, as well as the futility of resorting to violence in the effort to right wrongs, or to attain rights...
...Were they utterly mistaken...
...When we were selected as a Committee on Ways and Means to raise and dispense funds for the defense, of the McNamaras and the prosecution of the kidnapers, we were fully impressed with the innocence of the accused men...
...It joins in the satisfaB that the majesty of the law and jifl has been maintained and the culprits commensurately punished for their crime...
...v Labor Condemns Violence After reviewing these and other incidents in defense of the zeal with which labor leaders insisted upon a fair trial for the McNamaras, and sought to discredit Detective Burns, the statement outlines the position of organized labor as follows: "Violence, brutality, destruction of life or property, are foreign to the aims and methods of organized labor of America, and no interest is more severely injured by the employment of such methods, than that of the workers organized in the labor movement...
...Investigation is Welcomed "In so far as we have the right to speak, in the name of organized labor, we welcome any investigation which either federal or state courts may undertake...
...It is cruelly unjust to hold the men of the labor movement either legally or morally responsible for the crime of an individual member...
...While the gas theory was being hooted at by enemies of the unions, while even so late as last Friday night, an editor of the New York Timts was indicting a contemptuous slur at John Mitchell for supposing that proof would be adduced to show that an explosion of gas destroyed the Los Angeles Times building, the prosecu...
...It says, "Were all these men speaking from blind partisanship, or from rational convictions...
...The American labor moveme and its men are loyal Americans a seek to obtain the abolition of wron and the attainment of their rights wi in the law...
...Therefore, aware of the necessity of trade union organization, of the incalculable amount of good in various forms done by and through their unions every year, of the long and bitter campaign carried on by Otis, Kirby, Post and others, to destroy trade unionism, and perceiving the intention of these plotters and their detectives to ignore the apparent, and, to their minds, proven cause of the Times disaster, and to turn that terrible event solely to account as a means of discrediting trade unionism, the unions energetically stated their side of the case to the American public as they saw it at that time...
...tion knew that gas was an agency in the explosion and a great factor in the destruction which ensued...
...The lesson this grave crime teaches will, however, have its salutatory effect...
...The books, accounts, and correspondence of the American Federation of Labor are open to any competent authority, who may desire to make a study or an investigation of them...
...We here and now, individually and collectively, declare that the first knowledge or intimation of their guilt was conveyed by the press in their confessions of guilt...
...The sessions of the Conventions of the American Federation of Labor are held with open doors that all may see and hear what is being said and done...
...No such moral code or legal responsibility is placed upon any other association of men in our country...

Vol. 3 • December 1911 • No. 50


 
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