Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

Contents:
Author: Dwight D. Eisenhower  | Date: May 14, 1956

104
Remarks at the Opening of the Conference on Occupational Safety.
May 14, 1956

Mr. Secretary, Ladies and Gentlemen:

The concentration of three thousand people here in the City of Washington to conduct a conference on this problem of occupationalsafety is the most heartwarming experience I have yet had in my months of examination into this problem.

I want personally to thank each of you for the interest you are taking in it. I want to congratulate you for the simple reason that I know that out of this conference will spring the greatest advance we have yet made in this field.

Now, on the highways we know we lose a tremendous number of our people each year—I believe thirty-eight thousand were killed last year. The number we lose through occupational accidents is not so large, but in a way it is more tragic.

In the one case, we have many millions of fast-moving units on the road with no possibility of coordinated control among them, except as they may choose to obey the laws in the areas in which they are driving.

In this occupational field we have much of our trouble arising in organized bodies and groups, in our factories and other places. Through proper spread of information, proper adoption of methods and procedures, we know that much of this could be eliminated. In other words, the fourteen thousand that we lose through occupational accidents seems to be more easily controllable within limits, at least, than does the other.

I don’t know how many of the individuals in this audience have ever had the task—almost the daily task—of writing letters of condolence to families that have lost a dear one. For my part, I assure you, it is one of the most heart-breaking things I have ever had to do. And when you stop to think of fourteen thousand bereaved families in this country every year, occasioned by prevent, able accidents, it is indeed—to such a person as myself—a tragic fact.

So I believe that such people as yourselves have the solution largely in your hands. The Federal Government can do little. The President can call a conference to bring you together so that you may exchange ideas; so that each of you may gain some inspiration from the fact that so many people do come to look into this thing and show their determination to do something about it.

But the Federal Government’s part here is limited very definitely to that of a general leadership. Federal law and Federal Government should not extend into the factory, into the farm, into the other places where these accidents occur. The community and the State, therefore, must pick up the burden of teaching, of devising, of planning, so that this tragedy is certainly lessened in extent and comes as close to the point of elimination as human ingenuity can bring it.

This is a short description of the feelings I had when, with Secretary Mitchell, we determined to invite you to this particular conference.

I again say: I thank you from the bottom of my heart for coming.

I have every confidence that from today forward—from the moment you return home—we will begin to show improvement, and we will improve all the time, each year, until practical elimination has been achieved.

Each of you will share in the great satisfaction that will come from that development. I for my part expect that I will look back on this day for a long time as one of the finest things that has happened for America in this line.

It is a serious problem, but as they used to say in the war when people would complain about how tough this particular job was: "Well, if it wasn’t tough, they wouldn’t have brought such good men to do it."

I say that to you.

Goodbye and good luck.

NOTE: The President spoke at Constitution Hall.

Contents:

Related Resources

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Download Options


Title: Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

Select an option:

*Note: A download may not start for up to 60 seconds.

Email Options


Title: Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956

Select an option:

Email addres:

*Note: It may take up to 60 seconds for for the email to be generated.

Chicago: Dwight D. Eisenhower, "104 Remarks at the Opening of the Conference on Occupational Safety.," Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1130-1132 490. Original Sources, accessed April 21, 2018, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCBBL2G9GIC61WM.

MLA: Eisenhower, Dwight D. "104 Remarks at the Opening of the Conference on Occupational Safety." Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1130-1132, page 490. Original Sources. 21 Apr. 2018. www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCBBL2G9GIC61WM.

Harvard: Eisenhower, DD, '104 Remarks at the Opening of the Conference on Occupational Safety.' in Public Papers of Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, Dwight D. Eisenhower, 1956 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.1130-1132, pp.490. Original Sources, retrieved 21 April 2018, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=DCBBL2G9GIC61WM.