Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963

Contents:
Author: John F. Kennedy  | Date: May 7, 1963

163
Message to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor at Bogota.
May 7, 1963

I LOOK to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor as among the most important events of this second year of la Alianza para el Progreso. The essence of the Charter of Punta del Este is that ours shall be an alliance of peoples as much as of governments; an alliance of men of good will within the borders of our separate countries, as well as across them.

The first goal established by the Declaration to the Peoples of America adopted at Punta del Este is "To improve and strengthen democratic institutions through application of the principle of self-determination by the people." The fifth goal is "To assure fair wages and satisfactory working conditions to all our workers; to establish effective systems of labor-management relations and procedures for consultation and cooperation among government authorities, employers’ associations, and trade unions in the interests of social and economic development." These goals are the immediate concern and in many ways the first responsibility of the ministries and departments of labor of all our nations. Much attention has been paid the technological revolution that has transformed the means of material production in the modern world and for the first time given to men the prospect of liberation from the ancient bonds of scarcity and want. But far less attention has been paid to the administrative revolution that has made it possible to transmit the benefits of technology evenly and equitably throughout an industrial society. I give you the thought that modern technology without the science of social welfare administration would be a barren and negative thing, eliminating jobs and widening the gap between wealth and poverty, rather than creating a shared abundance.

It is equally clear that technology cannot be forced on a people, save by a tyranny that destroys as much as it creates. The full cooperation of workers, through their trade unions, must be achieved. This is a rule of economic development, and equally a fundamental tenet of a free society. It is not coincidence that wherever political democracy flourishes in the modern world there is also a strong, active, responsible free trade union movement. The Americas will be no exception.

We have a larger vision and a better understanding that those who persist in the sterile conviction that left to itself technology will eventually produce a social justice as well as material abundance. We have also a higher sense of our responsibility beforeGod and our peoples, holding with Jose Marti that "To foresee is a duty of those who undertake to lead."

There could be no more appropriate setting for your meeting than the site of the Act of Bogota, the third of the three great declarations of principle on which la Alianza pard el Progreso is based. I wish every success to your deliberations. Your nations look to you, and to the high purposes for which you assemble.

NOTE: The President’s message was read to the Conference by Secretary of Labor W. Willard Wirtz, chairman of the U.S. delegation to the meeting which was held in Bogota, Colombia, May 6-11, 1963.

Contents:

Related Resources

None available for this document.

Download Options


Title: Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963

Select an option:

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

Email Options


Title: Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963

Select an option:

Email addres:

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

Chicago: John F. Kennedy, "163 Message to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor at Bogota.," Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963 in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy, 1963 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.899-903 368. Original Sources, accessed August 17, 2022, http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4U7KKP4ZF4EXRJF.

MLA: Kennedy, John F. "163 Message to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor at Bogota." Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963, in Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy, 1963 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.899-903, page 368. Original Sources. 17 Aug. 2022. http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4U7KKP4ZF4EXRJF.

Harvard: Kennedy, JF, '163 Message to the Inter-American Conference of Ministers of Labor at Bogota.' in Public Papers of John F. Kennedy, 1963. cited in , Federal Register Division. National Archives and Records Service, Public Papers of the Presidents of the United States, John F. Kennedy, 1963 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office, 1956-), Pp.899-903, pp.368. Original Sources, retrieved 17 August 2022, from http://www.originalsources.com/Document.aspx?DocID=4U7KKP4ZF4EXRJF.