It is unfortunate for John Lord O'Brian that the Wagner Act and not the T.V.A. is an issue in the New York State campaign. For if he were discussing rural electrification, the Republican Senatorial nominee and prominent T.V.A. attorney would possess complete information and a certain amount of insight; while in meeting the labor issue, Mr. O'Brian is limited to a certain amount of information.
Mr. O'Brian does know that the Wagner Act was designed to promote industrial peace. And he knows that there really hasn't been much peace. But his insight fails him when he concludes that the cause of all the unrest has been the alleged one-sidedness of the Act and the incompetence of the Board which administers it. From the time that the Liberty League persuaded fifty of their most talented legal counsel to declare the Act unconstitutional to the most recent jeremiad of the National Association of Manufacturers, the hostility of an important segment of employers to collective bargaining has remained unabated. And it has resulted in the use of spies, munitions, special company police, bought newspapers and every disreputable device that the ingenuity of law-abiding business could provide. Mr. O'Brian makes no mention of these things.
The Republican nominee insists that the Wagner Act must be amended and an "impartial" board be created. But he adduces no evidence of the partiality of the present board and one would think that if such proof existed, he would triumphantly drag it forth. For as a lawyer, Mr. O'Brian probably appreciates the importance of evidence. As a matter of fact, all the evidence supplied by English experience suggests that most employers can have peace if they're willing to bargain with their employees instead of beating them.