The recent action of postal officials in two Ohio cities refusing to accept for delivery packages of food for workers inside the Republic Steel plants, is but another evidence of how far the American government has departed from its true function of serving as an umpire to settle difference between conflicting sections of the community.
On the heels of the Federal postmasters refusal to send packages of food (on the ridiculously flimsy ground that they were not accepting "any irregular packages" during the steel strike), came the ukase from Mayor Edward J. Kelly of Chicago, leader of one of the most ruthlessly efficient city machines since Boss Tweed held sway in Gotham, that Republic Steel must henceforth stop housing workers in the temporary quarters set up in the Chicago plants. This is because the Company is "violating city health and building ordinances", a statement so palpably absurd, when the temporary living conditions established inside the plants are examined, that it falls of its own weight. Further the company cafeteria is now supplying gratis better food and more of it than the men themselves would probably buy. Mayor Kelly's action is simply what one expects from a prominent demagogic leader, and the C. I. O's expression of "appreciation" is really unnecessary when one remembers their leader's contribution to the Great Cause of Democracy last November.
Similarly the action of the Federal Postmasters in two separate cities of Ohio, acting as they say under instructions from Washington, in refusing to accept for delivery perfectly legal packages is also what one would expect. "Remember your friends" is a good political motto. At Niles the evidence shows the postmaster there is going so far to preserve the sanctity of the mails as to show all packages addressed to Republic Mills to C.I.O. organizers for final approval. This is really remembering your friends in a way they are not likely to forget in 1940.
The Federal Government may publicly express a pious wish that "industrial conflict would cease", or the virile hope that some "settlement satisfactory to both sides could be worked out", but certain it is that bloody strife between capital and labor will continue as long as organizations like the C.I.O. established for the deification of an aspiring Mussolini like John L. Lewis know they can count on the support of Federal, State, and local governments to come to their rescue when it appears that man's sacred right to work might be enforced after all.