Edward Thomas Devine to Members of the Committee on Industrial Relations, May 23, 1912


New York, May 23, 1912.


Pursuant to the call of May 15, a meeting of the Committee on Industrial Relations was held on May 20, at which the following were present: -- Mrs. Simkhovitch, Miss Wald, Messrs. Devine, Burns, Fitch, Hall, P. U. Kellogg, Kennaday, Lindsay, Lovejoy, [Macfarland], Moskowitz, Peters and Schieffelin.

A statement was made by the Chairman and Mr. Burns in regard to the situation in Washington. In view of the opposition of Mr. Fitzgerald and others to the amount of the appropriation recommended by the Committee on Labor, a resolution was adopted that it was the sense of the Committee that the passage of the bill to create a Commission should not be endangered by insisting upon the amount recommended, but that, if possible, some compromise amount should be agreed upon which would secure the approval of those who object to so large an appropriation as $500,000. The substitute proposed by Mr. Burns, after a conference with Commissioner Neill, providing for an appropriation of $100,000 and instructing the Commission to plan its work on the assumption that a total amount not to exceed $500,000 will be available, was approved, and it was understood that Mr. Burns would secure the consent of the chairman of the Committee on Labor and the introducer of the bill to this amendment, if practicable.

The Committee by motion expressed the further opinion that not less than $100,000 should in any event be secured, if possible, for the first year's work. [page 2]

The undersigned having assumed new and somewhat pressing duties in the School of Philanthropy and having engaged passage to Europe on June 13, and recognizing that there is little probability of the completion of the work of the Committee in securing the passage and approval of the pending bill and the appointment of a satisfactory commission before that date, asked to be relieved of the chairmanship of the Committee. My resignation was accepted and [Prof] Lindsay was elected chairman, this appointment to take place immediately.

I wish to thank the members of the Committee for the hearty [cooperation] and support which they have given, and to ask, what I am sure will be quite as heartily and cheerfully given, the continuation of this encouragement and support for the important work which remains to be done. The Executive Committee will, of course, continue the close personal direction of the general campaign which the members of that Committee have shared with the Chairman since the Committee was organized.

We have every assurance of support for the pending measure in both Houses of Congress with an appropriation of reasonable amount for the first year. We confidently expect that, notwithstanding the heavy changes against the passage of any particular bill because of the competition of other business, the Commission will be created. We hope that within a few days it will be on the calendar of the Senate, as it is already on that of the House. It is hoped that members of the Committee will hold themselves in readiness to respond quickly and effectively to any request which may prove necessary when the bill comes up for final passage.

Faithfully yours,

Edward T. Devine.