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Mr. KITCHIN. Permit me to suggest just this question, if he has any statistics of average attendance and enrollment of the children under 16.
Mr. Swift. Those statistics can not be had in my State. We have no record of them. I can not get them.
Senator La FOLLETTE. I suggest that you leave those full reports with the reporter here, and I ask that they all be incorporated in the hearing.
Mr. Swift. If I may, I have one more if I may offer it. This is a study which I have lately made, with the highest respect and friendship for my friend, Mr. Patterson, but it is about the mill village which he owns and has an interest in. I made a study of that. That is Roanoke Rapids. This is taken from the report of the county superintendent of public instruction for 1913 and 1914. If I have made no mistake in my calculation-if I have I want to correct them-I find in that mill village the percentage of enrollment according to the school census was 51, the percentage of average attendance to the school population was 28. I find that the county in which this mill village is located the percentage of enrollment is 75 approximatelyit may vary a little--and that the percentage of attendance is 47.
Senator ROBINSON. That shows a very great difference in favor of the rural districts, even as to the mill which Mr. Patterson represents. Mr. SWIFT. I do not think there can be any question about that.
Senator ROBINSON. When did you begin to make these investigagations with reference to the percentage of enrollment and attendance in these schools ?
Mr. SWIFT. I made the investigation on the first one I made it twice—this is the second one I made-I made this study of these two counties twice-no, only once. I made this investigation after the hearing before the House committee..
Senator ROBINSON. Quite recently?
Mr. SWIFT. Yes, sir; I just wanted to see how that was, and I went back and studied; got it from the report of the State superintendent of public instruction; this book, for the years 1913 and 1914.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN. Is there anything further ? Mr. SWIFT. I should like to add this: I believe from what I have heard that perhaps you have a better report now, Mr. Patterson, than this shows. Mr. PATTERSON. I think so. Senator ROBINSON. When was that report made ? Mr. SWIFT. For 1913 and 1914. If I may add a little further— there were two other mountain counties suggested in the hearing. I made a study of those counties. One is beyond the Blue Ridge and one is lying up against the foothills. Alleghany County was mentioned as a county from which children might well move to the mill villages to be educated. I find the percentage of enrollment is 89 in that county, and the percentage of attendance is 62. The other county mentioned was Stokes. That adjoins my county. Some of my wife's people live up there, so I investigated that. I found the percentage of enrollment was 82 and the percentage of attendance was 46. I find further that the percentage of enrollment for the whole of rural North Carolina is 79, mountain, lowlands, and all. The percentage of attendance is 54.
Senator ROBINSON. Have you taken the trouble to verify the accuracy of those reports in any way except just to take them from the book?
Mr. SWIFT. I have checked them over and calculated the percentages. I may have made a mistake in the calculation.
Senator ROBINSON. But what I mean to ask, you do not get your figures at first hand; that is, you do not go into to see yourself and get the figures? You get them from reports of officers ?
Mr. SWIFT. No, sir; I get them from the only source I could possibly get them, the report of the State superintendent of public instruction.
I beg your pardon, I might go to the county superintendent.
Senator ROBINSON. You might go to the mill district yourself and examine the subject there, and, by taking sufficient length of time, although of course it would be a difficult matter, you might make a very personal investigation. The point I am trying to get at in that connection is this, that school officers, within my knowledge, in many localities frequently swell or diminish their figures in order to make a good showing for the service that is being rendered by the schools, and that might be done by a mill man or by the county superintendent of education. For instance, I have in mind now one school in the Indian service that some of my friends in the Senate and I had occasion to investigate where the rolls were actually padded in order to make it appear that there was a much better attendance than actually was the fact.
Mr. SWIFT. I appreciate that, but there is not the slightest reason why these reports should not be correct, barring mistakes.
Senator ROBINSON. There have been things said during these hearings relative to the sanitary conditions in rural districts and in mill districts, and the subject is quite an interesting one to me, and one I have no personal knowledge of, and I presume that is true of a good many other Senators here. The statement has been made that sanitary conditions in the rural districts in these States are very bad, especially among the tenant class, the white people, that they are poorly housed, poorly fed and overworked, and that for this reason they are moving to the mill districts, where they get more regular pay, better houses to live in, and better food to eat, and not only better educational facilities, but better religious opportunities. Have you made any investigation along that line?
Mr. SWIFT. I have looked at that question and studied it in a
Senator ROBINSON. I think you answered a question or two about it a while ago by the Senator from Rhode Island ?
Mr. SWIFT. Yes, sir.
Senator ROBINSON. As to the reasons why so many moved from the country to the towns to engage in millwork. Of course, the percentage of enrollment in the schools and the percentage of the average daily attendance may be accounted for the falling off in the mill districts-by the fact that the pupils above the workingage limit, the mill-age limit, are engaged actually in working in the mills practically all the time.
Mr. Swift. I think that does account for it.
Senator ROBINSON. But what do you say about the general sanitary conditions that prevail about the mills that you have investigated ?
Mr. Swift. Some are very good; some are very bad, but no worse, I should say, though, than you might find in a home in a rural community. The only difference is this, that where you have the tenant living on a farm the sanitary conditions do not amount to so much, because there is but one family there, but you have them massed into one village, and then with open closets and many other things you might have, of course, that could become a serious matter, and I have seen the places where it looked very serious to me.
Senator ROBINSON. That is all, Mr. Chairman. Miss MORRILL. May I ask the witness one or two questions, Mr. Chairman?
The CHAIRMAN. You may. Miss MORRILL. Mr. Swift spoke about the educational advantages offered by mill owners. I want to know the percentage of the children that took advantage of that education. Is it not true that after the children have worked 11 hours in the mills that they are too tired to take advantage of that education? Is it not true that after working 11 hours a day in the mills that really all they are fit for is to go to bed? Is it not also true that
Senator CLAPP. You had better give him a chance to answer.
Mr. Swift. You have given me so many questions that I can not carry them in my mind. I think I see what you are driving at, and I perhaps should have said I do know of many places where there are night schools. My observation is that no child who stays shut up in a room 11 hours a day under 12, 13, 14, 15, or 16 years of age ought even be permitted to go to school and study, much less to be encouraged to do so. He ought not to go, and 1 do not think he gets very much good out of it if he does go.
Miss MORRILL. You think it weakens them physically, morally, and mentally?
Mr. SWIFT. I am not a physician, but I would not have my boy do that.
Mr. KITCHin. Those statements did not include any attendance in night schools, but only in the public schools? Mr. SWIFT. No; this is only for public schools. Mr. KITCHIN. It does nor include the night schools ? Mr. Swift. No, sir. Pardon me if I say this, though. Senator ROBINSON. I did not understand that. Mr. KITCHIN. It did not include any night schools. Mr. SWIFT. The report I gave on this best mill had no night school.
Miss MORRILL. Is it not also true that colored children in North and South Carolina get a better education than white children? Is it not true that the white children are employed in the mills and that the colored children go to school?
Mr. SWIFT. That is my observation, and a study of the report seems to bear that out.
Miss MORRILL. They often pass each other, the colored children going to school and the white children going to the factory, going to the mills.
Senator LA FOLLETTE. Will you file your report covering all your studies, and I ask that it be incorporated.
Mr. ŚWIFT. Yes; if I may incorporate them all in one paper.
(Thereupon, at 5 o'clock p. m., the committee adjourned until Friday, February 18, 1916, at 3 o'clock p. m.)
PRODUCTS IN INTERSTATE COMMERCE OF CHILD LABOR.
FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 1916.
COMMITTEE ON INTERSTATE COMMERCE,
UNITED STATES SENATE,
Washington, D. C. The committee met a 3 o'clock p. m., pursuant to adjournment. Present: Senators Pomerene (chairman) and Clapp.
The ACTING CHAIRMAN (Senator Pomerene). Mr. Swift, I understand you desire to be heard. You may proceed.
STATEMENT OF W. H. SWIFT, OF GREENSBORO, N. C.—Resumed.
Mr. Swift. Mr. Chairman, referring to the tabulation of figures which I read yesterday and as bearing on the educational question, I have in this paper added a fact which came out in that study, which is as follows:
A STUDY FROM REPORTS IN THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT OF PUBLIO
INSTRUCTION, GUILFORD COUNTY, N. C., FOR THE YEAR 1914–15.
Percentage of white rural school enrollment to white rural school census, 78.
Percentage of white rural school average daily attendance to white rural-school census, 57.
The above is for the entire rural county.
Reports from the school districts, including the three cotton-mill villages, Proximity, Revolution, and White Oak:
Percentage of school enrollment to school census in these three mill villages, 63.
Percentage of average daily attendance to school census in these three mill villages, 44.
Added: In the rural schools of Guilford County 18 per cent of the white rural-school population are enrolled above the fifth grade. In the three mill villages, out of a school cer sus of 1,622, 47 children are enrolled above the fifth grade. This is approx. imately 3 per cent of the school census in these three mill villages. In the three mill villages there were 14 children enrolled in the seventh grade. There is no grade above the seventh in these mill villages.
A STUDY FROM SCHOOL REPORTS IN THE OFFICE OF THE COUNTY SUPERINTENDENT
OF PUBLIC INSTRUCTION OF CALDWELL COUNTY, N. C., FOR THE YEAR 1912–13.
In four cotton-mill districts in Caldwell County the percentage of white school enrollment to the white school census was 64.
The percentage of average daily attendance to the white school census for the same districts was 36.
In eight rural districts in Caldwell County the percentage of enrollment to the white school census was 88.