From Labor Action, Vol. 6 No. 17, 26 April 1942, pp. 1 & 3.
The copy of the newspaper from which this was scanned was slightly damaged and parts of the text had to be reconstructed.
Transcribed & marked up by Einde O’ Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).
Revelations of the sinister dealings of the du Pont family’s Remington Arms Corp. with Hitler and his financial masters, the I.G. Farben Co., come as a fitting climax to the long and odious record of this gang of economic royalists in their drive for profits and power in America.
And,the grave indictment against their cartel agreements, through Remington Arms Corp., with I.G. Farben, put them high on the list of this war’s “Merchants of Death.”
Only their vast power and influence prevent the outbreak of a national scandal of major political proportions.
This is what the du Ponts have been doing, as summarized in the conservative paper, the New York Sun:
What do you think Congress is going to do about it? Nothing. It’s too busy attacking labor on the home front.
The record of the du Ponts in building their billion dollar empire out of blood profits in the First World War is public, and Congress hasn’t touched them.
In the First World War the du Pont fortune rose from $74,000,000 to $329,121,608, according to Ferdinand Lundberg, in his book, America’s Sixty Families, exposing the [real] rulers of America.
The du Ponts’ war [dividend] equaled 458 per cent on [the] value of the original stock [in the] company!
The du Ponts were given [sum illegible] to build a nitrate [plant on a] cost-plus basis; after the [war the] plant was sold to the [National Industrial] Corp. for $3,500,000.
“Therefore the plants built [by the] du Ponts,” said the Graham investigating committee, “had been paid for out of the profits of contracts made with the Allied nations before we entered the war.” Besides, they made a profit of 33 per cent on sales!
Then the du Ponts extended their octopus grip into control of General Motors and the United States Rubber Co.
While plying their nefarious trade they built up political fences, which have given them full protection to date.
“In a broad and very real sense the du Ponts own the whole state of Delaware and parts of adjoining Pennsylvania. Delaware itself is the private fief of the du Ponts, who constructed its schools and roads, collect its taxes – Pierre du Pont is the Delaware tax commissioner for the fourth term at this writing – and, in general, supervise every detail of Delaware life!” (Lundberg’s book.)
Is it a wonder that the congressmen and senators from Delaware are mouthpieces of these Merchants of Death?
Is it a wonder that the du Pont plants are open shop? And that the people don’t know the facts, when the schools are run by these vultures of society?
Al Capone ran a minor racket compared to the du Pont clan.
Having industrial power and political influence, and driven by an insatiable appetite for profits, the du Ponts smashed, their way into the top ruling circle of America’s Sixty families.
They organized the notorious “Liberty League” in the 1936 elections to seek absolute control of America’s political destinies.
They paid professional strikebreakers to devise arid use the deadly “Mohawk Valley formula” to smash the strike at Remington plants.
And they expanded their empire into a world domain which they shared with the I.G. Farben Co. in the vital field of war chemicals.
They own all the big newspapers in Delaware. They are powerful in Detroit, New York and Washington. What sacrifice are they making in the present war? None! Instead they are getting away with murder when it comes to war profiteering, from the deals both at home and with Nazi Germany!
These vultures live well and untouched during wartime on the spoils of their industrial enterprises and dirty dealings. A billion dollar fortune. A vast industrial empire. And a state as private property to boot!
“Near the environs of Wilmington, Del., there are precisely two dozen du Pont estates, four of which are of the first magnitude.
“There is, for example, Winterthur, the ducal 150 room residence of the Henry F. du Ponts, boasting 40 bedrooms, each with a radio complete, each replete with costly antiques; the cost of the building alone was $2,000,000, and including the grounds, trappings, furniture and fixtures, the cost of the whole establishment easily touches 110,000,000,” Lundberg writes!
The Longwood residence of Pierre du Pont is worth $15,000,000. William du Pont has two imperial palaces. These are just a few examples! And we haven’t mentioned the yachts, the planes, the private trains, city apartments, etc., which these vultures use as luxurious nests in which to gorge their war profits.
Instead of fighting against this fabulous empire and its rulers, the congressmen are busy chiseling the overburdened workers in the plants ... asking THEM to sacrifice.
And the miserable leaders of the CIO and the AFL devote their main efforts to get labor to sacrifice some more, while the du Ponts, the Rockefellers and the Morgans live in a style and grandeur and make profits such as the world has never seen before. And this during a time when hundreds of thousands of workers and youth in the army are sacrificing their lives and the men in the plants are toiling.
Perhaps this presentation of facts will indicate why we think that Labor Action has a correct program when we ask for: the conscription of the war industries run by the du Ponts and putting them under workers’ control.
Workers’ control of production would not bring deals with Hitler and his agents, or blood profits while the world suffers in the agony of war!
After the exposé of the du Ponts and other capitalists in the First World War, the soldiers and union workers vowed: “Never again.” For they suffered and died in vain.
Expropriate the Merchants of Death!
Change the system that breeds these vultures of mankind!
Last updated: 31.5.2013