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Archbishop Edward J. Hanna's July 13, 1934, General Strike
address as broadcast by KGO, KPO and KFRC


In the face of the great emergency which has engulfed the entire Pacific Coast area during the last 48 hours, as well as other ports of the Pacific coast, the public is overcome by anxiety and a dread of consequences.

As chairman of the National Longshoremen's Board appointed by the President of the United States, consisting of Mr. O[scar]. K. Cushing of San Francisco and the Assistant Secretary of Labor, Mr. [Edward F.] McGrady, I desire to explain the situation as I see it and as it has been presented to the board; and, furthermore, I desire to make an earnest appeal to all parties concerned to let reason rule and to exhaust every effort possible to reach a peaceful and just conclusion.

As Chairman of the Board, the Archbishop and his colleagues sit as a tribunal, impartial, fair, kindly, and only interested in justice.

The Board believes that settlement can be reached at only by arbitration. In view of the situation which has been precipitated by the failure to reach an agreement, it is the duty of every party to this controversy, to themselves, to their families, to the public, and to their Government, to make every effort humanly possible to adjust differences.

The President of the United States has put in the hands and in the power of this Board the machinery for orderly and fair negotiations leading to arbitration and to a settlement of this dispute in a manner that is thoroughly American.

The President's Board is hopeful to find a settlement in accordance with established principles of social and industrial justice. We feel it is our duty, therefore, to present what we consider the just course to be followed.

We believe in the right of the working man to organize within their vocations, and to choose their representatives and to bargain collectively with their own employers.

We believe in the principles of collective bargaining, we believe that workingmen have the right to be represented by men of their own choice, we believe workingmen may organize within a craft, and have a right to deal directly with their employers.

We think that both the employers and the workingmen involved in the disputes before us must be prepared to approach this problem in the interests of justice, which our board is determined shall be the basis of settlement.

We lay it down as a general law that associations of employers and of employes should be so organized and governed and so protected as to furnish the best and most suitable means of obtaining what is aimed at, to-wit: to help each individual member to better his condition to the utmost in body, in mind and in property.

Organizations of both workingmen and employers should be so organized and governed as to secure justice for every man involved in each association and to guarantee the rights of all parties to a bargain.

A bargain cannot be just unless the human character of the worker is fully recognized. A bargain is not just if a worker is forced out of necessity to accept wages and conditions that make it impossible for him to support his family in a reasonable and frugal comfort.

In seeking after justice, we must not forget that in the present economy of our civilization, our lives and our deeds are so bound up with the industrial order that the mighty operations of industry must go on continually, else the whole body politic must suffer.

It is, therefore, pregnant to remark that in seeking adjustment neither the employers or their workmen have sufficiently minded of the rights of the people as a whole.

Inasmuch as the whole question turns upon rights and duties, it might be well to state briefly a few underlying principles which have ever been the teaching of Christianity during 2000 years.

The first of these great principles is that there should be, in the dispensation of Christ, no conflict between class and class.

This is true, not only because one class needs the other, but particularly because every man, of whatever station, possesses in God and in Christ that dignity which the employer must respect and which forces the workman to render just and equitable service.

This is true, because in the new law all men are brothers of Christ, children of the same Father, and of a consequence, in the settlement of disputes they out to meet in friendly spirit, in the spirit of those whom love, and not mere justice, rules.

Rights must be religiously respected wherever they are found; and it is the duty of the public authority to protect each one in the possession of his own rights. And, I might add one word more, it is to make clear that in settling this dispute we cannot solve the whole problem of unemployment.

I believe that the employers and workers ought to agree to submit all points at issue to the arbitration board.

Finally, as Father of the poor and of the afflicted, the Archbishop makes this urgent appeal to the workingmen and the employers not only in the cause of right and of justice, but that further suffering may be avoided especially in the case of those who are innocent of any part in this controversy, and who by their position are unable to protect themselves.

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