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Frances PerkinsFrances Perkins
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What we knew and what we could find out about their rates of wages, rates of pay for different kinds of work, their working hours, their social and working conditions, the existence of unemployment insurance, old age insurance, free public employment offices, workman's compensation, and so on, would figure in any postwar settlement. We got quite excited about this at one time, and I wrote out a long list of the things that would be desirable for all hands to agree to with regard to labor conditions. By “all hands” I mean our allies and our enemies.

Of course, I, from the very beginning, was very anxious that in any new peace treaty the International Labor Organization should be written in and should be the basic element upon which we would rely for future operations and agreements between countries as to labor conditions.

The Secretary of State, at the early stages of this game, was trying to elicit specific information about the number of people employed, we'll say, in coal mines in different countries, the production of coal, the price of coal, the price of labor, the standard of living which that price of labor represented. It was an interesting idea. I think it had certainly some good, solid substance to it.

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