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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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It wasn't difficult to reorganize the Labor Department and get over Hamilton's regime. He just hadn't done anything at all. He was not even physically present for days and weeks together. People had stopped asking for him. Not only had the employees of the Department stopped asking for him, but outsiders, wishing to do business with the Department, had stopped asking for him. Politicians were the only ones who did ask for him. I was the Chairman of the Board for four years before this change and they came to see me when they couldn't reach him. It was known that I ran the budget, did other things, and the Board had the power of decision. So they began coming to me as Chairman of the Board. Finally, with Governor Smith's assent, I did the best I could with matters that came up. I would say, “Look here, is this all right?”

Smith would say, “Just do the best you can.”

Nearly everything could be done by the Board, as a matter of fact, that needed to be done except to administer the Department. But since I controlled the budget, because the Governor asked me to, I could practically run the Department.

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