Retiring NALGO president CJ Newman told the union's annual conference: 'You and I have been brought up in a world which recognises without question the social ascendancy of the white collar over the worker's muffler and its undisputed right to a preferential salary. Have we realised that that world is gone forever, buried in the avalanche of two catastrophic world wars, that the late President Roosevelt's phrase, 'the age of the common man' is literally true, and that - whether we like it or not - that involves a complete revaluation of the worth of human work? The clerk and the collier are being weighed in the scale of social value, and who tips the scale is, for us, as a union of blackcoat workers, a matter of supreme importance. . .
'The great machine of local government depends for its smooth working and maximum output as much on the smallest cog of the office boy as on the big wheel of the chief officer that drives the dynamo.'