Hall of Secretaries
Lewis B. Schwellenbach
Tenure: July 1, 1945 to June 10, 1948 (died in office)
From Washington State; lawyer; U.S. District Judge; Dean of Law School; U.S. Senator.
Appointed by Harry Truman. Fear of post war unemployment brought the Employment Act of 1946, which made promotion of maximum employment the Nation's top priority. Promoted abolition of war time wage and price controls. Had to deal with a post war wave of strikes. The Taft-Hartley Act passed; DOL staff was cut; the Conciliation Service was removed from DOL and established as the independent Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (FMCS). During his term, the Department's international work was institutionalized; the Office of International Labor Affairs was established as a unit in the Office of the Secretary.