Samuel Gompers Papers

To William Hutcheson

Council of National Defense
Washington. August 10 [ 9 ] 1917

William Hutcheson,
President, United Brotherhood Carpenters and Joiners of America,
Carpenters' Building, Indianapolis, Ind.

          You know the voluntary agreement entered into between Secretary Baker and me regarding Union scales and standards in cantonment construction work. That agreement has been extended by the War Department to other work. Am advised by high authority that if our voluntary agreement with the Government fails and strikes are inaugurated in establishments to which the agreement applies there is no question that Congress will follow what the English Parliament did under like circumstances and that is to pass a law for compulsory labor and compulsory arbitration. It would be most unfortunate for labor as well as for our country if this were permitted to occur and I appeal to you to avert it. The Government officials will do all they can to have the Situation in New York adjusted.

Samuel Gompers.

TWSr, Files of the Office of the President, Letterbooks, Advisory Commission, Council of National Defense, reel 21, p. 535, AFL Records. Handwritten notation: "sent Aug 9."