Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

ample Mr. Ruttenberg, of the mining situation out in Utah. Incidentally I have been memorialized by resolution from my CIO oil workers, and it is in the record before the Ways and Means Committee, placed there when I testified before that group with reference to oil imports.

Now why should we discourage that view of my CIO workers? I think they are perfectly correct in it. I have so stated and have so advised them.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. When you refer to the CIO oil workers, you are specifically referring to the local unions in your own specific district. You are not referring to being memoralized by the international union of the oil workers, but just the local union in that particular area from which you come.

Mr. BURLESON. Yes.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. I think the oil workers international union, as we call it in the CIO, has not taken the strong position that some of the local unions have taken.

I would like to put the problem in this vein: The solution to the employment picture of the oil workers in Texas does not rest in opposition to or even support for the ITO charter. The solution to the employment problem of the oil worker in Texas relates to specific domestic measures in this country which ought to be taken to promote job opportunities and full employment and the carrying forward of the obligation of Congress, in the act of 1946, the employment act, in which it becomes the obligation of the United States Government to use all of its measures to promote maximum employment production and purchasing power. That obligation is far more incumbent upon the Congress and the people of the United States than any possible obligation contained in the charter itself. Yet our Congress has not carried out that obligation.

Mr. BURLESON. That is all right to state as an ideal, but when the refineries are closing in my district and oil-field equipment is lying around idle on vacant lots and the oil workers belonging to your union are idle, then they are entitled to an answer to a situation which has been brought about by the operation of our own major oil industries abroad and bringing their oil into this country. Now that is the case. As you say, we can look at the broad principle way up here at the top level of the Congress of Industrial Workers, and in your position, but I am talking about the fellow down here who is actually doing the work. He is the man in whom I am interested.

I do not mean to say you are not working in and for his ultimate interest but they are entitled to an answer now. He does not know anything about the law in 1946 and he does not care, but he knows the present situation is a threat to his job and his security.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. We had a State-wide educational conference, the CIO did, down in Texas, in the midsummer or early fall of last year. We held it over in Austin. We had delegates from oil workers' locals throughout the whole State of Texas and locals from other industries in the State. I dare say one of the hottest discussions we had in our 4-day educational conference was the one which I tried to lead on this specific problem of importations and exports. Mr. BURLESON. You must be well informed on it.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. I am not as well informed on it as I should like to be, but I do know that I was faced with many, many questions by

the rank and file people down in Texas who are daily up against unemployment. Now whether that unemployment comes about through our increased imports of crude or whether it comes about by the reduction of our exports of refined products, however it comes about, they are unemployed.

Now, I say, and I argued with them down there, and perhaps I convinced some and maybe I didn't, and I probably didn't as it looks at this point, but there is coming to be a greater realization of the need of approaching the problem of unemployment, not within the restricted sphere of imports versus unemployment, but within the entire sphere of total economic policy.

Now that does not give the fellow down in Texas in your district and in one of our local unions a job. Therefore I say, and our position in CIO is, we have two problems here: We must provide job opportunities on an over-all economic basis for these people in the long run, and that means the proper economic policies. We have a second subsidiary duty and responsibility and that is to take immediate temporary remedial measures to help those people.

One of the specific measures that we would recommend as an organization, and I am sure the people in your local area would agree with, is that as a temporary means, while we are attempting to solve the over-all problem of more job opportunities-not restrictions on imports as we do that, we ought to increase unemployment compensation benefits. We ought to make public works and works programs available through those areas, hospital construction, school construction, road construction, all of these temporary remedial methods of putting people to work while we put our brains together trying to find out the solution to the over-all economic problem.

Mr. BURLESON. In that way you are giving them aspirin instead of penicillin.

Mr. FULTON. No. May I interrupt, there? I do not believe Mr. Burleson was here at the time, but the question here is not the specific application of the liniment but to get the over-all approach in policies that you are going to have the various administrative actions taken under.

You say in your district you have oil workers out of work because of certain matters that probably are for the best interests of the United States, although the burden seems to fall on your people.

Now may I in lower-case letters call up to you, that in representing South Pittsburgh, I have the Pressed Steel Car Co. there that in July 1949, had 3,500 employees and at the present date has 5 employees. It is completely shut down.

In addition, I have the Carnegie-Illinois axle works, the largest in the world, and all the equipment that goes into freight cars, the Pittsburgh Screw & Bolt and the Fort Pitt Malleable Casting, employing hundreds of thousands of other workers.

Now the problem is this: They complain that the Pressed Steel Car Co. was shut down because of the Marshall plan aiding Britain to undercut them in competition and sell 5,000 freight cars to South Africa. They also brought up at a meeting here last week that I attended, the question of this International Trade Organization, and the reciprocal-trade agreements. Now if I am willing to look at the policies that are best for the country, my duty to them was to tell

them that a United States Senator on the Republican side was wrong in what he had written them in favor of high tariffs, walling the country off and keeping everything out.

That is not giving them aspirin and it is not giving them something that is powerful, either, but it must be said that if you are going to put the over-all good of the country and those policies above the practical application in the district.

Mr. BURLESON. As I said, I did not want to narrow the discussion to a particular industry and a particular problem. I have an appreciation of that. However, on the other hand, if our own enterprises, our own American business can-by priorities and subsidies, by reason of chartering vessels under the Panamanian and Honduran flags, and by employing cheap labor that does not come under the standards which we have in this country for labor-lay down products in this country in competition with our own goods and not only in competition but to the extent of threatening its survival, then action is urgently needed. I have reference, of course, to the independent oil operator. Under the fallacy that there is a shortage of petroleum in this country, that there is a shortage of reserves, this condition has developed. It just is not true. It is predicated on false assumptions all the way through. I do not think it is a comparable question to the thing you have raised, Mr. Fulton.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. May I interject one thought at this point, Mr. Burleson. Now speaking solely of these CIO oil workers in your district, if you took the position that it is unwise policy for the State of Texas, through its railroad commission to restrict under conservation oil production in the State of Texas you would be complimented by the oil workers in your district. If the railroad commission which has now month after month since the middle of last year been restricting oil production under its conservation program, if it were not doing that, you would increase the supply of oil on the market and in turn do something about the price structure. Just the other day the biggest oil companies in the United States announced a price increase for gasoline.

Mr. BURLESON. Right.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. Now why? An artificial shortage is created. It is created by the kind of practices engaged in by the railroad commission in the State of Texas in terms of its conservation program.

Mr. BURLESON. I was leading up to that point, but I said here once before, and perhaps it was an overstatement, that if we were giving crude oil away, you would not be buying gasoline at Esso, or Gulf or the Texas Co., a penny cheaper than you are buying it today. The end product to the consumer is not coming any cheaper at all.

Mr. RUTTENBERG. Let me make this point very clear because I think we have an excellent example of the problem: Just because we might not be successful in getting the State of Texas to pursue the proper policy with regard to conservation and we might not get Congress to take action on monopolistic control of gasoline and oil prices, we therefore should not come to the conclusion that we should oppose the importation of oil.

On the other hand, I think we should take the situation brought up by Mr. Fulton in the Pressed Steel Car Co. in Pittsburgh and find the solution domestically to this problem. The reason that Pressed Steel

Car plant is now closed down is because an order for 5,000 railroad cars was given to some other country in Europe under the ECA program. That is why it is closed down, because they did not get that order. The solution to the problem is one which says:

Here is a domestic situation which we have to solve through domestic policies. If you took the position in your Texas district with your Texas oil workers I have outlined, they would be more inclined to follow you in the long-run than if you say we should restrict imports to protect job opportunities.

Mr. BURLESON. With further reference to the matters mentioned by Mr. Fulton, the industrial North and Northeast has had protective tariffs for 75 years. There has never been anything like that in the South until the agricultural program came along and as I said to you on the floor, Mr. Fulton, when we were discussing ECA, when you asked me a similar question, that as I understood it, this issue, made that aisle which runs down between the seats in the House of Representatives—one on one side and one on the other. That originally I understood was the main purpose for that aisle, but now about all we do is receive messages from the Senate and the President. I don't know what the difference is.

Mr. FULTON. Would you let me say that it does me good to see you two Democrats disagreeing so much.

Mr. BURLESON. We are not disagreeing, really. I think Mr. Ruttenberg, with all due respect, is approaching the question from his level in the CIO but he hasn't gotten down to the problem today that rests with the local unions and that is my criticism of big union organizations.

Mr. FULTON. Could we suggest this, that we relocate the center aisle and make one center aisle that goes down through the Democrats and one that goes down through the Republicans.

Mr. BURLESON. It is pretty well defined without any aisles.
Mr. GORDON (presiding). Is that all, Mr. Burleson?

Mr. BURLESON. That is all.

Mr. GORDON. (presiding). Mr. Fulton

Mr. FULTON. I do not want it felt, as a result of my not immediately saying no to Mr. Burleson's statements, that I have at any time favored a high restrictive protective tariff that walls this country in, or makes for monopoly in any industry, whether industrial or otherwise. I want that on the record. I have been consistently for the reciprocal trade program, and I want good exports. I favor international trade on a good competitive level that means a good exchange of values so we are not cheating our customers abroad and they are not cheating us either on value.

Now I feel that the program as put out here, the ITO with these other programs on the bipartisan international policy, will result in good reciprocal trade so that we get good values moving among good customers in the democratic nations.

That is an entirely different concept than to say "Well, up in the North they have had high tariff walls and they have done this and that over a period." That time may have been in the past and it is long since gone, under the reciprocal trade agreements. Simply because there might once have been a use of an international policy for personal gain, does not mean that it should be continued in one setion of

the country when it has already gone by the board that the other section of the country. For example, neither the North or the South or West should use that as a means to perpetuate such a thing believed to be harmful to the country as a whole. If the policy was bad to begin with, it still is bad and should not be reinstituted in the North, or the industrial areas. If that is the case, then in no part of the country, the agricultural South or the cotton South or the oil South or any part of it should any such policy be instituted, if it is against the public interest and against the national interest.

That is stated simply to clear up my position that we did not have time in our colloquy on the floor to explain. Such position does not put any support to your remarks on the floor inferring that all Northerners were high-tariff advocates.

Mr. BURLESON. You know the Democrats have been in power several years, and it has made for some improvements in this respect.

Mr. FULTON. You must realize, too, that the reciprocal trade policy was first a Republican policy which was successfully adopted by the Democrats.

Mr. GORDON (presiding). Thank you, Mr. Ruttenberg.

Our next witness is Mr. Merwin K. Hart, president of the National Economic Council, Inc.

Mr. BARGER. Our president was here yesterday and had to return to New York. He has asked me to present his statement. I will do it as rapidly and quickly as possible.

STATEMENT OF MERWIN K. HART, PRESIDENT OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL, INC., READ BY HARRY S. BARGER, NATIONAL REPRESENTATIVE OF THE NATIONAL ECONOMIC COUNCIL

Mr. BARGER. I appear on behalf of the National Economic Council, which is a group not organized for profit, and devotes itself to the promotion and perpetuation in America of private enterprise, private property, and individual initiative.

I am not going to burden the committee with an attempt to go into the intricacies of the proposed ITO charter, but shall confine myself to certain general points.

Heretofore such regulation of trade and commerce as the United States has had has been by the Congress or the legislatures of the several States.

But unless the International Trade Organization is to be only a forum for discussion, investigation, and recommendation-and I do not think it is intended to be merely this-this charter would in effect subject our domestic trade in the United States to control by an international body to the extent ITO saw fit. For the charter clearly contemplates telling each member nation what it may do in international commerce (with, of course, many exceptions and reservations which introduce vagueness and uncertainty into the instrument); and the member nation agrees, in effect, in ratifying the charter, to take steps to carry out what the International Trade Organization tells it to do.

The United States Department of Commerce, engaged in the regulation of certain aspects of United States trade, had at last report 46,830 employees on its payroll. As one reads the charter, it would

« AnteriorContinuar »