Saturday, August 6, 2016

Samuel Gompers' letter to James W. Sullivan

Mr. J. W. Sullivan:

DEAR SIR:- I have had the extreme pleasure of reading your book, '''Direct Legislation'',' and beg to assure you that it made a deep impression upon my mind. The principles of the Initiative and Referendum so often proclaimed find sufficient elucidation in concise form. The facts that you have massed together of the practical application of these principles give the best evidence of thorough research and study. It is the first time that the labor reformers and thinkers generally have had this subject presented to them in so able and readable a manner. Every man who believes in minimizing the evil tendencies of politics as a trade or profession, cannot fail to be highly interested as well as pleased upon reading your book.

In many of the trade organizations the Initiative and the Referendum are applied, and have no doubt in my mind whatever that with the growth and development of the trades-union movement, much will be done to apply the principles to our political government.

I am led to believe that now in the New England states, particularly in Massachusetts, where the town meetings exert a large influence upon the public affairs of their respective localities, much could be done to bring the subject of the Initiative and the Referendum to the attention of the masses. I think the trades-unionists of that section of the country would be more than willing to coöperate in an effort to demonstrate the practicability as well as the advisability of the adoption of that idea.

Again assuring you of the pleasure I have had in perusing the work, and thanking you earnestly for your contribution toward the literature upon this important subject, I am fraternally yours,

SAMUEL GOMPERS, President, American Federation of Labor.

(Source, Alt., Alt. 2)

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