** Janes J. Davies

Figure 1.--This is James J. Davies, Jr. the son of cabinet officer James J. Davies. He is broadcasing an appeal over WRC for funds to feed starving children in Germany (1924). American Radio at its earliest stages was used to raise money for chatities. WRC was the Washington broacasting affiliate of the Radio Corportation of America, the beginning of the National Broadcasting Company (NBC).

James J. Davies (Wales/United States, 1873-1947)

James John Davis was a Welsh-born American businessman, author and Republican Party politician. He served as U.S. Secretary of Labor under three presidents (Harding, Coolidge, and Hoover). Although he was a steel mworker as a young man, he was not popular with organized labor after he became Secretry of Labor who saw him as insuficiently sympthetic to Labor. He did support a limited right to strike. And he convinced U.S. Steel to end the 12-hour working day. He was a strong supporter of the eugenics movement which is one reason that he focused on immigration, at the time Labor Department responsibility. He established the United States Border Patrol and proposed the restrictions on immigration enacted after World War I (1920s). Davis played a significant role in helping the Administration settle a serious coal strike (1922) and had a role in ending of a nationwide railroad strike in the same year. Both strikes resulted from problems resulting from the War. Davis' influence was ecliopsed by the rise of the more influential Secretary of Commerce, Herbert Hoover. At the same time he took an interest in food shortages in Germany. At the time, the United States was making loans to Germany in an effort before the rise if the NAZIs to avert a crsis over reparations. After the stock market crash (1929) leading to the Great Depression, Davis's interests turn to politics and he is elected to the Senate from Pennsylvania (1930). This was an anomaly. Republicans did not do well in the 1930 Comgressional Election, but a lot better than in 1932. It is interesting that at tghe beginning of the depression President Hoover's Labor Srctrtary of all people would win a Senate seat. While in the Senate, Davis introduced and engineered passage of the Davis-Bacon labor relations act. He was a moderare, not an outspoken critic of the New Deal. He voted for major New Deal reforms, but criticized President Roosevelt for expanding Federal power. In foreign affairs, he was not one of the Congressional Republicans that was outspokingly isolationist. He took an interest in the plight of European Jews as NAZI influence grew. He was an early supporter of neutrality legislation, but as the NAZI menace became increasingly obvious, generally supported President Roosevelt in both preparedness and Anglo-American cooperation. In the passionate debates over the New Deal and then isolationism, Davis is rarely mentioned. He was narrowly defeated in his 1944 rrelection campaign.


Ziegler, Rioger H. "The career of James J. Davis," pp. 67-89.


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