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record of my participation in that meeting, and also to set forth my observations because time sort of removes a lot of these things from memory. So, throughout each meeting, I set forth a record in sixthgrade Ènglish that I think is quite simple. When I got back from each conference I made it my business, because I was so seriously concerned with what I saw going on, that I thought it was important that some of my other friends know about what is going on in connection with some of these international conferences, so I sent 100 copies.
Senator HENDRICKSON. I presume you are directing your remarks primarily to these executive agreements which grow out of these conferences.
Mr. MCGRATH. Yes, and I will get into that in my record. There is one thing that I would like to set forth. It may sound as though my remarks are critical of the International Labor Organization. Î would like, for the purpose of the record, to read from this report, it is very brief, of my thirty-second report written in 1949.
Senator HENDRICKSON. You may proceed.
Mr. MCGRATH. I am still of the same opinion as of what I wrote at that time. So this is what I said:
Now certainly some action should be taken about this situation. As I see it, there are only two roads open.
One road is for the United States to withdraw entirely from the conference. Well, that, gentlemen, is isolationism pure and simple, and I think the results might be unfortunate. In the first place, you know perfectly well that we can't live by ourselves any
The world is growing too small And besides, how can we go along with the United Nations and yet refuse to have anything to do with the International Labor Organization which is now a part of it?
In the second place-and this is even more important-the International Labor Organization is a two-way street. It's quite true that it brings strange ideas from abroad to bear on our own economy, but it likewise takes the story of our economy to the people of other countries. And I want to tell you that the American Federation of Labor delegates at the conference this summer were very effective in this direction. When the employers, because they were so much in the minority, could do little about stopping a communistic proposal, it often happened that the American Federation of Labor people threw their weight against it and succeeded in blocking it. Remember, they are at that conference as exponents of the highest living standards and the best working conditions enjoyed by workmen anywhere in the world. And what they say carries a great deal of weight. Now, if we want the United Nations, and if we want the Marshall plan, by which we hope to prove that our way of life is better than the other fellows', I say we ought to stick with the International Labor Organization.
But if we are going to stick with it, I think there are two things we ought to do.
In the first place, we ought to strengthen our representation at the conference. The employers' representative from our country should have at his right hand a group of experts and specialists on the subjects on the agenda. In the conference this summer Mr. McCormick, our employer delegate, had seven advisers, of which I was one-and I'm certainly no expert. I found myself thrown head over heels into subjects on which I had done no previous research and for which my only background was that of the ordinary small manufacturer. Holding up the employers' side of an argument at that conference requires a thorough knowledge of facts and a full measure of ingenuity, and our employer delegate is entitled to the best help he can get.
I think, too, that a change might be made in the present method of appointing delegates. As matters stand now, delegates are appointed by the State Department largely upon recommendation of the Department of Labor. It would seem to me that the Department of ('ommerce might also participate in these recommendations, and that the four delegates from the United States might properly be one from the Department of Labor, one from the Department of Commerce, one representing employees, and one representing employers.
I think that is important.
Mr. MCGRATH. This was written in 1949. And each year thereafter I prepared a report of observation covering each conference.
Senator HENDRICKSON. Have you made any substantial changes in your views since then?
Mr. McGRATH. These are exactly the same as written at that time. Senator HENDRICKSON. I understand that.
Mr. MCGRATH. And my view on the subject has not changed in that respect because I consider, even though the International Labor Organization has dangers that I will point out in connection with these international treaties, I think it is highly important that we continue with the International Labor Organization, because it is the only international organization that has lived which was born out of the League of Nations. It is the only organization that is tripartite, where the governments of the world, most of which are not behind the iron curtain—there are some two that are behind the iron curtain-most of the employers, most of the labor unions, and most of the governments are represented at the labor organization conference. And there it gives us, if we are sufficiently articulate, the opportunity to tell the other people of the world about the American free enterprise system and about our way of life and about the privileges that we enjoy in America and that they might profit by our example.
There are things that we can give to the world other than our money which we are dumping into the world in such great abundance. It is today one of the only places in the world that is not completely dominated by government alone. It is a place where labor, where industry and business can tell its story to one another and to the governments of the world, and I think that is terrifically important.
Senator HENDRICKSON. It is very important.
Mr. MCGRATH. I will now get down to my statement, which represents a résumé. I happen to be the member of our delegation that represents the American delegation employers on Application of Convention committee. That is the committee that looks to the effect of these recommendations, resolutions, and conventions that are enacted and discussed. It is a sort of police organization of the international organization.
In other words, it is to check the countries of the world, to see the extent to which the actions by the International Labor Organization have been put into effect by the governments of the world. Of course, the appalling thing to me is to see the way our Government members vote for these conventions and vote for conventions and resolutions that are not at all compatible with our way of life.
Senator HENDRICKSON. What agency of our Government are you referring to there?
Mr. MCGRATH. I am referring to where the Government is represented by a Member of Congress, usually. Last vear it was Senator Murray, of Montana. I am also referring to the Government member from the Department of Labor, who usually comes from the Department of Labor. And, of course, there is usually almost entirely a coalition between the labor representation with the employers standing on the outside. We are the minority all of the time. We don't expect to win any victories. We expect to go down to defeat every
time on most of the issues that come up, because most of the issues are so completely socialistic that we just don't think they are compatible with the spirit of America.
Is there any further question there, sir? Senator HENDRICKSON. I might ask, out of these issues come some of these proposals for executive agreements, is that right?
Mr. MCGRATH. That, I do not know. All I know is that there are conventions
Senator HENDRICKSON. I am trying to relate the situation you described to the pending resolution, the resolution before the committee.
Mr. MCGRATH. I don't know whether executive agreements do come out of conventions. That, I don't know. All I know is that there have been conventions which, in effect, are international treaties, submitted to the Senate for ratification.
Senator HENDRICKSON. The germ of executive agreements could come out of these conventions, I assume.
Mr. MCGRATH. That is correct. In other words, the thing that has mystified me for a long time is where do all of these ideas originate from that are so incompatible with our way of thinking over here. And the resentment that I feel about what is being proposed here is that we import these ideologies and ideas from other places of the world, apparently to improve our way of life. I don't think it improves our way of life from what I have seen of the executive agreements and some of the other proposals that have come through.
Senator HENDRICKSON. From what spheres do the dominating influences come in these conventions?
Mr. McGrath. Primarily from the governments of the world. The government people of the world are the ones who initiate most of the ideas which in turn are turned over to the office which, of course, is the administration force of the International Labor Organization.
Senator HENDRICKSON. I suppose the Secretariat.
Mr. McGrath. That is right. In other words, it is quite clearly, as you will see, apparently a plan of governments of the world to plan the way of life for the people of the world on the theory that the people of the world are so dumb that they can't promote their own interest under our system of government.
May I proceed?
Mr. McGRATH. I still have great faith in the people of this country making their own determination.
Senator HENDRICKSON. Now, proceed with your statement. I have faith, too.
Mr. McGRATH. I am sure that other witnesses before this committee have amply dealt with section 1 of the proposed amendment which is designed to prevent the ratification of treaties, the terms of which are contrary to the Constitution of the United States. This situation applies particularly, as you know, to certain clauses in the proposed Ünited Nations Covenant on Human Rights, as has been repeatedly and ably pointed out by Senator Bricker.
I shall confine my discussion, therefore, to section 2, which, in the words of Senator Bricker, is intended to remove from the reach of the treaty-making power matters essentially within the domestic jurisdiction of the United States; and section 3, which is designed to prevent nullification by treaty of existing Federal and State legislation without further action by the Congress.
My concern in this matter stems from the fact that for the last 4 years I have attended the annual conference of the International Labor Organization as a member of the United States employer delegation.
As an arm of the United Nations, the International Labor Organization passes conventions which, when ratified by member countries, become international treaties among the countries which ratify them; thereby under our Constitution as it stands today, becoming, if we ratify them, the law of the land and taking precedent over all other existing Federal or State law.
A large share of these conventions—which are in effect basic outlines of proposed types of legislation-deal with strictly domestic affairs of member countries.
The fact is that the ILO has gone far beyond the field of labor, and is seeking to set itself up as a sort of international legislature to formulate uniform domestic socialistic laws which it hopes, by the vehicle of treaty ratification, can eventually be imposed upon most of the countries of the world.
The ILO has apparently abandoned the concept of the treaty as an instrument dealing with international affairs. It seeks, instead, to inject the principle of internationalism into domestic legislation and destroy the principle of local self-government.
Senator HENDRICKSON. I take it you do not agree with the President when he says there is no difference any more between the domestic and foreign policy.
Mr. MCGRATH. I definitely do disagree to that statement, sir. I can best illustrate the extent to which the ILO is attempting to invade the field of domestic legislation by describing some of the conventions which it has passed.
Convention 62 deals with safety provisions in the building industry.
Convention 63 sets up federal machinery for gathering statistics on wages and hours in mining, manufacturing, building, and agriculture.
Convention 64 deals with government regulations of written contracts of employment of indigenous workers.
Convention 67 has to do with government regulation of hours of work and rest periods of bus and truck drivers.
Convention 77 sets up regulations for medical examination of children to be employed in industry; and Convention 79 would restrict the night work of children in nonindustrial occupations.
Convention 81 has to do with governmental labor inspection in industry.
Convention 86 would regulate maximum length of contract of employment of indigenous workers.
Convention 87 deals with freedom of association of employees and protection in the right to organize.
Convention 88 is a draft of a law setting up a federal employment service.
Convention 89 seeks to regulate the night work of women employed in industry; and Convention 90, to regulate the night work of children employed in industry.
Senator HENDRICKSON. We do have, do we not, in most of our States, sound laws regulating these things?
Mr. MCGRATH. That is exactly right, and that is why I am listing these, Senator. We do have our own State laws which deal with all of the problems that I have read up to date. We are almost beginning to get
Senator HENDRICKSON. Do the proposals that come in these conventions in this category differ from our own proposals and own laws in our own States?
Mr. MCGRATH. Not too much, generally. Our usual standards of measures of safety are as high or higher than other nations of the world. But we have our own standards. There may be differences, I don't say that there are not some differences.
Senator HENDRICKSON. In that category they are probably minor differences, are they not?
Mr. McGrath. Generally, there might be minor differences. But even those minor differences might be important so far as we are concerned in America. We don't have to apologize for any of our standards of safety or employment so far as the people of America are concerned as compared with those of the rest of the world.
Senator HENDRICKSON. Thank you.
Mr. MCGRATH. Convention 94 deals with labor clauses in public contracts.
Convention 95 would set up governmental regulations concerning methods of payment of wages.
Convention 96 has to do with government regulation of free-charging employment agencies—and, incidentally, this convention was designed by the ILO Socialist majority in the hope that it would lead to the outlawing of private employment agencies.
Convention 98 has to do with the application of the principles of the right to organize and bargain collectively.
Senator HENDRICKSON. In that particular convention, how much do they disagree in philosophy and theory with our principles as we know them here?
Mr. MCGRATH. I think I can answer that question because I have had a considerable amount of discussion on that particular subject. The philosophy of that convention is—and there is joined with that convention the right to organize, that is, the right to join, and the right to bargain collectively—the philosophy of the governments of the rest of the world, most of the governments of the rest of the world, is that you should only have the right to join. When we tried to insert into that particular convention the words “or not to join" we were met with terrific opposition because it was stated that people should be compelled to join. In other words, there is quite a distinction. We had a terrific argument on that one point. We said:
We will go along with the idea of the right to join if you will insert the right “not to join."
Senator HENDRICKSON. Was our delegation unanimous? Mr. McGrath. The employer delegation was unanimous. The employee delegation and the labor delegation were against our viewpoint. We didn't challenge the right to bargain collectively. That is a recognized right. But, on the other hand, in America a man might want to bargain individually. He might not want to bargam collectively. We felt that right should be maintained.