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Mr. SWIFT. I think so.
Senator POINDEXTER. But they do not have better sanitary conditions ?
Mr. Swift. In some cases they do, in some they do not. Not nearly a'l the mill towns are equipped with water-closets; they have surface closets. Some are cared for better than others, but where so many people are gathered together I doubt whether there would be so much advantage in that respect.
Senator LIPPITT. Has there not been in North Carolina and South Carolina, and in the South generally, a very pronounced movement from the farm to the mill districts?
Mr. SWIFT. I think there has.
Senator LIPPITT. Has there been much movement from the mill districts back to the farm?
Mr. SWIFT. I think there has in some cases. In other cases I have found men who said they could not get back; that they would like to go back, but could not.
Senator Smith. Is it not your experience of the majority of the mill operators, both in my State and yours, that they come from the mountain section?
Mr. SWIFT. My remembrance is that the figures show that the majority do not come from the mountainous sections.
Senator SMITH. I do not mean from the mountains alone. In North and South Carolina, especially my State,
we have very little mountainous district, but the contiguous States, Tennessee and North Carolina?
Mr. SWIFT. I know that very many come from Tennessee, from Virginia, and from the mountains of North Carolina, but I think not this larger por cent.
Senator POINDEXTER. You spoke a while ago of mills that were not in a town or city--small mills. What was the general condition of those mills and how many, proportionally, how many of them are there? Those little mills that are not in the villages ?
Mr. Swift. These m.ills would all be in a village. I am not speaking of being in an incorporated town. Every mill constitutes a village.
Senator LIPPITT. But there are comparatively few mills in the Carolinas not in large towns?
Mr. SWIFT. A few are near the larger towns. Senator LIPPITT. They are most likely to be at the water power, where there are big villages around them; is that not the condition?
Mr. SWIFT. Yes, sir.
Senator La FOLLETTE. Some of those are the largest mills, are they not?
Mr. SWIFT. Well, take Greenville; that is one of the big towns of South Carolina. They have somé large mills surrounding that, and the same is true of Greensboro, and the same is true of Charlotte and Columbia.
Senator Smith. Take your experience-take my State, for instance-aside from the question involved in this bill as to child labor, the years at which they labor, do you not think that the hours they are employed in an average mill village in South Carolina and the social conditions, if we might call them such, at least the opportunity to associate with their fellows, is an improvement over the
average condition of the tenant farmer? Now, as for the home he lives in, the facilities as to schools—I am not touching on the point of age at which the child goes to work-but considering those things, is not the condition of life more tolerable ?
Mr. SWIFT. Taking the poorer tenant farmer, the hours are better. The opportunity for mingling with his fellows, of course, is decidedly better in the mill villages. I can not speak for South Carolina; I can only speak for North Carolina. The chances for going to school after the child gets to the age of 12 are not so good.
Senator LIPPITT. Why is that?
Mr. SWIFT. For this reason: It is the habit in a mill village, while you have your schoolhouse, yet you take the children at 12 or 13 years of age and the whole population, the working population, goes into the mill
, and the children do not go to school. In fact, as far as I have investigated it and have knowledge of the conditions, I have not seen enough schoolhouses to accommodate them.
Senator LIPPITT. There must be a great many families out in the sparsely settled communities that have hard work getting to a schoolhouse, anyway?
Mr. Swift. We are building many schoolhouses all over the State very rapidly.
Senator LIPPITT. I know you are. Senator SMITH. Senator LIPPITT, I will correct that, because I want to keep this record straight.
Senator LIPPITT. I was only asking for information. Senator SMITH. I do not think there is a community in my State that has not got some school facilities. I shall not dwell on efficiency, but they have the opportunity to go to a school hearing, even if they do not go to a teacher. There is a distinction there.
Mr. SWIFT. Permit me, Senator, I think as a whole my State, too
Senator LIPPITT. Your schools would not quite equal the schools in the mill villages, however?
Mr. Swift. They are not so good; the buildings are not so good, but this is the difference. The small children may go to school, but the rule is they do not go to school after they get to about 12 or 13 years of age, and if they undertook to go there would not be any schoolhouse to hold them all.
Senator LIPPITT. How many children on the farms in the country go to school in the farming season ? Mr. SWIFT. You mean go to high school?
Senator LIPPITT. Any schools, during the time the farming season is on?
Mr. SWIFT. I do not think many. Senator LIPPITT. As a matter of fact, the employment of those children on the farm is for much longer hours than in the mills, is it not?
Mr. SWIFT. I was raised on a farm and lived there all my life in the mountains. I am thoroughly with poor people. My experience was exactly the other way. We did not go to work I never remember going to work before daylight. The child in the mill necessarily does.
Senator LIPPITT. Did you ever know a mill hand to go to work before daylight? Mr. SWIFT. I have seen hundreds and thousands.
Senator LIPPITT. In the winter time, though?
Senator LIPPITT. But in the summer time you went to work at daylight on the farm ? Mr. SWIFT. Oh, no; we usually went to work after the dew got off.
Senator LIPPITT. About what time would that be? I am not acquainted with the hours of the dew.
Senator CLAPP. I do not think you are familiar with farming down in that section. I can tell you something about the hours of work there.
Senator LIPPITT. What time does the dew dry off?
Mr. Swift. We did not count that; really it was not work, it was a pleasure and mighty good for me.
Senator LIPPITT. I suppose you started that at half past 5 or 6 ?
Mr. Swift. No-we never got up until after 6. · Senator SMITH. I want to corroborate what he says. I have had pretty considerable experience in my State and I have a right good number of farms. I have superintended them myself or through an overseer and you are correct. Scarcely one out of a hundred on a given farm except perhaps the one that tends the stock will get up a little earlier to get them ready, but those who go to work in the fields come out after the sun is up and they quit about the time the sun is down, with two good long hours at noon. Mr. SWIFT. Yes, sir; we took those hours at noon.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Let me ask you a question which has been suggested to me here. You were speaking about school facilities here in the vicinity of these mills. To what extent do the children avail themselves of those opportunities?
Mr. Swift. I think the rule is—we have a compulsory education law between 8 and 12—the rule is for children to go to school, in fact, they have to go to school between those ages in the mill villages and equally so in the country places.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. For how long a period during the year? Mr. SWIFT. We are trying to get a six-months school term. Our compulsory period, I think, is four months.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. How long have you had that?
Senator LA FOLLETTE. But that is only between the ages of 8 and 12?
Mr. Swift. Yes, sir.
Mr. Swift. I think it is, sir. I happen to have heard of one case in which it was not enforced. That case happens to be in a mill village.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. This compulsory period then is below the age at which these children go to work in the mills ? Mr. Swift. Yes, sir.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. And after they go to work in the mills do they attend school at all ?
Mr. Swift. My observation is they do not.
Senator La FOLLETTE. Have you investigated with respect to that?
Mr. Swift. I have in my hands a paper setting forth an investigation I have made.
Senator La FOLLETTE. It is very short. Let us have it. Mr. SWIFT. Yes, sir. This is an investigation made about what is considered the best mill villages in my State. It is the White Oak and Proximity. It is acknowledgedly one of the best. I also made a study for the county in which this mill village is located of the ruralschool attendance. This is Guilford County. I find that the percentage of white rural-school enrollment in this county is 78. I find that the percentage of white school attendance is 57. Then I took the mill districts and studied them. I find that the per cent of ruralschool enrollment in the mill district is 63 as against 78 for the rural. I have a report here, I think for the State the rural is 69. The average daily attendance for the mill village, the percentage was 44 as against 57. That does not mean that they do not have schools at that mill village. They do have the schools; they have good schools. I know the teachers and I know they are good ones. It means that the children up to the age of 12 are practically all in school and after that practically none are in school.
Senator ROBINSON. Did you devote your entire time to this work?
Mr. SWIFT. I am a lawyer and sometimes have a case in court, but very rarely.
Senator ROBINSON. Most of your time is devoted to this?
Senator ROBINSON. You are employed, I suppose, by some organization ?
Mr. SWIFT. I am employed by the National Child Labor Organization.
Senator ROBINSON. And you have been engaged in that work for three years ? Mr. Swift. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. How many mill villages have you inspected during that time?
Mr. Swift. I could not tell you. I have not made any count of them.
Senator ROBINSON. Do you not keep a record of the villages where you have made inspections ? Mr. SWIFT. I report. Senator ROBINSON. But you do not recall now? Mr. SWIFT. No, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. Did I understand you to state that these figures you have just presented are for what some call a show mill, one of the best? Mr. SWIFT. I should not like to say a show mill, but a good mill.
Senator ROBINSON. I am not using the term offensively, but it has been used in this hearing. Mr. SWIFT. It is a good mill village.
Senator ROBINSON. Have you inspected others with a lower standard than that? Mr. SWIFT. I have made studies for other mill villages. Senator ROBINSON. What do the lowest show ?
Mr. Swift. I have a study here made for Caldwell County and Catawba County which I will leave with the committee if it is desired.
Senator ROBINSON. I should like to have it. It will not take you long. I understand it is only figures in comparison with those you have already read ?
Mr. Swift. In Caldwell County I made a study of four mill districts in which I find the percentage of enrollment is 64, the percentage of attendance 36-this was in 1912 and 1913. I then asked the county superintendent to give me any rural districts in that county so I could make a study of them. I found the percentage of enrollment in the rural district was 88 and the percentage of attendance 59.
Senator ROBINSON. In what rural district ? Mr. SWIFT. In eight rural districts in that same county. Senator ROBINSON. How were they selected ? Mr. SWIFT. The county superintendent named them; but after I had taken that I then went to the rural report for the county, took all the mill districts, and I found the percentage was 66 for the entire county and 44 averago daily attendance. I then made a study for Catawba County. In four cotton mill districts I found that the percentage of enrollment according to the school census was 62 and the percentage of attendance was 38. In 12 rural districts in that county I found the percentage of enrollment was 76 and thi percentage of attendance was 50.
Senator CLAPP. Are those mountain counties?
Mr. SWIFT. They are not mountain counties. They are in Piedmont section at the foot of the mountains. One would be part mountain.
Senator ROBINSON. Have you investigated any of the counties in which the percentage of the enrollment and attendance in the mill districts is greater than the rural districts ?
Mr. SWIFT. I have not, sir. If you will pardon me, will you just ask that question again ?
Senator ROBINSON. I asked if you had investigated any counties in that State where the percentage of enrollment in the mill districts was greater than in the rural districts ?
Mr. SWIFT. Where I have investigated the attendance in a mill district as compared with a county I find that the percentage of enrollment and attendance in the country is higher.
Senator ROBINSON. In the county ?
Mr. KITCHIN. I suggest to Mr. Swift that he give the school ages to show what ages are included in the school population.
Senator ROBINSON. Yes.
Mr. SWIFT. That is important in this way. Out in the country where the children live on the farm they do crop work and they go to school on up to the ages of 18 or 21, but in the mill village, where they can be employed and become a part supporter of the family, they do not go to school.
Senator LA FOLLETTE. After about what age ?
Mr. SWIFT. After the age of 12, and these others I have pointed out, 13.