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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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Incidentally, since you ask, I was acquainted with Harry Dexter White, but didn't know him well. I saw him in conferences, but not until after the war began. The Secretary of State had a very top level conference that he started. The purpose of the conference, as I understood it, was that we who had been invited by the Secretary of State to be in on this conference were contributing to him and his aides information and advice which would be based on our knowledge of a particular field which could be made available to those who would have to do the negotiating in a peace conference. The Secretary of State envisaged a peace conference not unlike the Versailles peace conference, in which specialists and persons particularly well-informed about various aspects of the economic life of different countries, of our own country, who were able to project a reasonable and good proposal for agreement between the countries with regard to the postwar period, would be either present or consulted in an official and organized way.

I was asked, of course, by the Secretary of State on the theory that the Department of Labor, expressed through me, had a very considerable knowledge of, not only labor affairs in our country, but labor affairs in the countries who were then at war—either our allies or our enemy.

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