David A. Morse Papers, 1895-2003 (mostly 1942-1990)
Princeton University. Library. Special Collections
The David A. Morse Papers document the life and times of David Abner Morse (1907-1990), American lawyer, soldier, and public official. While he distinguished himself in legal, military, and governmental circles, the most fruitful years of his life were spent at the helm of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the oldest member of the United Nations' family of specialized agencies. As Director-General of the International Labour Office in Geneva from 1948 to 1970, Morse guided the increasingly complex activities of this tripartite organization, which unites in one body the representatives of workers, governments, and employers. No one has had a longer tenure as its head, and no one has presided over such far-reaching changes in its composition and orientation. Drawing on a variety of experiences in the field of domestic and international labor, including appointments as Assistant, Under, and Acting Secretary of Labor in the Truman administration, Morse gave practical meaning in a postwar context to the ILO's underlying philosophy, namely, that "universal and lasting peace can be established only if it is based upon social justice." The pursuit of this object won for the ILO the Nobel Peace Prize in 1969. The David Morse Papers contain correspondence, reports, memoranda, photographs, and newspaper clippings that document this long, productive career.