Roosevelt Hints At Unity For Labor As His First Aim (11-6-40)

The Pittsburgh Press (November 6, 1940)

By T. F. Reynolds, United Press Staff Writer

Hyde Park, N.Y., Nov. 6 –

President Roosevelt indicated today that unification of organized labor may be the first objective in the third term to which he was elected.

Mr. Roosevelt offered this clue to his trend of mind at his native Hyde Park village, while laying the cornerstone for a new post office. Workmen, standing in the background of the ceremonies, bore placards reflecting the split in labor which developed between the Congress of Industrial Organizations and the American Federation of Labor – a split which was broadened when President John L. Lewis of the CIO threw his full support behind Wendell Willkie.

“When Lewis resigns, labor will prosper,” one sign read. “Mr. Mr. Lewis but labor unity,” another proclaimed.

Nodding toward the placards, Mr. Roosevelt told reporters that the post-election day story they sought rested there.

“Head the other way,” he said, nodding toward the placards. “There is your story.”

Before driving from Hyde Park House to lay the cornerstone, Mr. Roosevelt dispatched a telegram to Mr. Willkie, acknowledging a telegram of congratulations he had received a little earlier.

The President telegram’s said:

Please accept my sincere thanks for your message of congratulations. I greatly appreciate the assurance of your good wishes for my health and happiness, which I heartily reciprocate.


Mr. Willkie had offered Mr. Roosevelt “congratulations on your re-election.”

Mr. Willkie’s telegram said:

I know that we are both gratified that so many American citizens participated in the election. I wish you all personal health and happiness.

The President prepared to return to Washington tonight to resume executive duties temporarily interrupted by yesterday’s balloting. Last night he had received the tributes of hometown friends.

Facing a cheering crowd of Dutchess County supporters, Mr. Roosevelt declared that in the future, he will remain just about the same man as in the past.

The words were spoken to his neighbors and “home folks.”

We, of course, face difficult times in this country. But I think you will find me the same Franklin Roosevelt that you have known for a great many years.

The President also exchanged telegrams with Senator Charles L. McNary, Mr. Willkie’s vice presidential running mate.

Senator McNary telegraphed from Salem, Oregon:

Heartiest congratulations – wishing you ball grace andf administration all prosperity.

Mr. Roosevelt replied:

Many thanks for your generous and therefore characteristic message and I know you and I will work together in the national interest. I heartily reciprocate all your good wishes.

Mr. Roosevelt, in an address on laying the post office cornerstone, avoided any reference to the campaign.

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