Letter and reply from Dan Buckley and William Haywood concerning the I.W.W.'s stand on refusing to register for conscription. The letters were part of the deposition of John W. Hughes for the Michael Simmons vs. the El Paso and Southwestern Railroad Company.
UA Special Collections AZ 114 Box 1, folder 1, exhibit 45.
July 3, 1917.
Wm. D. Haywood,
1001 W. Mdison St.,
I have received several inquiries from fellow workers who have been imprisoned for having failed to register asking my advice as to what is best to be done in their cases. I should like to know what stand if any the organization is going to take on this question.
Send branch charter for Fresno to Fresno and one for Stockton to Stockton.
Hoping to hear another reply from you on the previous question, I am
Yours for the O. B. U.
Sec’y Treas. #573.
Yours of the 3rd, inst, to hand and contents of same noted with care.
In reply to your query as to the stand of the organization on the failure of members of the refusal of members to register, will say, that the Organization is doing all it possibly can for such members while no official stand has been taken by the Organization on the question of registration, believing that the individual member was the best judge of hjow to act upon this question, still no thing has been left undone to help out the boys arrested for evading registration.
Fred H. Moore has been engaged as General Counsel for the I.W.W. and the greater part of time will be occupied in cases growing out of the evasion of registration by the members. The G.E.B. in session has devoted considerable time to discussing the whole proposition and are preparing a statement on same for the membership.
Of course, reverting to the question of what can be done for the boys who have been arrested for non-registration, you will readily see, that outside of seeing that they have some adequate defense, little indeed can be done, and when as in the Rockford cases a 150 members give themselves up voluntarily, and plead guilty, what else can be done, but to raise a little money to see that they are supplied with tobacco and other necessities. Where our economic power strong enough we know well enough what could be done.
Any suggestions you may have to offer along these lines would be appreciated.
Charters have been sent to Fresno and Stockton as per your request.
Fellow-worker Lambert has also been sent down to Minneapolis to assist you in the work of straightening out your Office. Trusting the Construction-Workers Industrial Union is making the progress it deserves. I remain.
Yours for the O.B.U.
Sec’y Treas. I.W.W.