Correspondence between F. Takano and S. Gompers
Mr. F. Takano,
Hongo, Tokio, Japan.
I am in receipt of your favor of May 10th, but in as much as I have been on a three months trip in the interest of the trade union movement throughout the entire south, and south west, I have been unable to give either any attention or reply before my return. I write now in the hope that this may reach you, and that I may as soon as possible receive a reply.
It is unnecessary for me to say that I read your letter with not only pleasure but with a great deal of interest and have even wondered how you had fared after your arrival in Japan. I presume that your experience as a war correspondent must have been varied, interesting, and exciting.
As a humanitarian as well as a man of affairs I am in some doubt as to whether in the best results have been obtained by the termination of hostilities between your country and China. At present it is as some barbarous Chinese dynasty and corrupt institutions in power there, without the slightest hope coming for reformation of any kind to the people of China, and which has resulted in their suffering, sacrifice and death. Possibly had that Empire become dismembered, the dynasty and the royal family dethroned, it might have resulted in the opening up of a new era for the people of that country, and help to push forward the people of the entire world in their struggles toward a civilization so much to be desired.
I am willing to confess that this criticism may be the result of misinformation, but from reading not only conclusion to which is published, but between the lines, it is the only conclusion to which I have arrived. Any information from you upon that or any other matter would be cheerfully and cordially received.
While the newspapers here gave quite extended accounts from the seat of war daily and several of them being rivals, taken in the aggregate, they were no doubt fairly accurate.
Before you receive this letter I shall leave for Europe.
You may have read that I have been elected by the American Federation of Labor to attend the British Trade Union Congress which convene in Cardiff, Wales Sept. 2nd. Of course, I shall return here about the middle of October and begin preparation for the next annual convention of the A. F. of L. which will be in session in New York City December 9th.
By the way, will you return to the United States by that time? If so it would give me pleasure to see that an invitation was extended you to read a paper before the convention. Let me know in reply to this. If you could send your answer so that it could reach me in London by the end of September, then address it to me c/o Mr. Samuel Wood 19 Buckingham St. London. Otherwise send your answer to 28 Lafayette Place, New York City.
As per your request I shall ask my successor to send you the "Federationist" from the time you failed to receive them.
I am sure you use your best judgement to do what you can and begin at the right time to disseminate a better knowledge and feeling among the wage workers of Japan for their organization and self protection. The movement in Formosa, Japan is somewhat incomprehensible to many here and a little explanation on that point if you could give it would be a pleasure to me and a number of friends.
Pardon me if I cannot discuss the change in the personal of the Executive head of the A. F. of L. You can readily understand that delicacy forbid me to more than refer to it. I thank you however for your very kind consideration of my devotion to the great cause of labor.
With kind wishes to you and hoping to hear from you at your earliest convenience, I am.