"League Means Rising Wages, Asserts Taft", The Chicago Daily News, Chicago, Illinois, February 11, 1919

transcription/ facsimile newspaper article


Head of Congress Declares End of Cutthroat Rivalry Will Help Worker.


The League of Nations is going to mean better wages, more secure homes and greater happiness to the working man of the world by the gradual elimination of cutthroat industrial competition between nations. This result will come about not because of any direct provision in the constitution of the league bearing upon international commercial relations, but as the reaction to the political cooperation established, which will naturally and inevitably extend its influence into the other fields of contact between nations."

This is the opinion of Former President Taft, head of the League to Enforce Peace, upon the effect of the establishment of a league of nations on the workingman. He gave it in an interview with a reporter for the Daily News.

Mr. Taft was presiding at the congress on a league of nations at the Congress hotel gold room to-day, with 1,500 delegates to present, when the reporter asked him for an interview.

Calls It Fundamental Question.

"What will be the effect of a league of nations on the average man on the street, his home, his job, his happiness?" was the question written on a "scrap of paper" and handed to Mr. Taft while he was in the chair. He left his seat and went into an outer room, motioning the reporter to follow him. There he expressed his views.

"That is a fundamental question". he said, "and I am glad to answer it. I and the man in the street wants a league of nations because it makes war, which he fights, next to impossible. He believes it will make his home and family secure and that is what he wants.

" And it will do all that and more. The waste of war will be eliminated, and the working man will find that his laborious accumulations are not to be scattered to the four winds every decades or generation. It will cut down oppressive taxes. It will give him a chance to accumulate and enjoy the proceeds of his labor, and not feed it into the maw of destructive forces.

" But it still means more. The cutthroat competition between nations in the past has resulted in the cutting of prices by industry in all nations to the bone so as to win the world's markets. In turn, wages have been cut to make this possible. It has meant slums, and in places, starvation. ...."