Frances Perkins: “What You Really Want Is an Autopsy”


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First of all I want to say how glad I am that so many of you have shown interest in this problem, which we in the United States Department of Labor believe to be a part of one of the great problems of the United States—the prevention of industrial and occupational diseases. There is nothing unique about your situation, except that you have here at your gates one of the most difficult industrial diseases and one for which it is most difficult to find a cure.

We in the Department of Labor have a mandate which we received from the Congress of the United States in the basic act which creates the Department of Labor and the office of Secretary of Labor, in those words: “It shall be the duty of this Department and of the Secretary to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners of the United States of America, to improve their working conditions, and to advance their opportunities for profitable employment.” So it becomes the duty of the Department of Labor to...

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Frances Perkins (Library of Congress)

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