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Adolph Lewisohn, Samuel McCune Lindsay, V. Everitt Macy, Charles P. Neill, Isaac N. Seligman, Lillian B. Wald, Stephen S. Wise, and John W. Wood.
The CHAIRMAN. Where do the most of that board reside?
Mr. McKELWAY. Most of them in New York City. Mr. Caffey is Solicitor of the Agricultural Department here in Washington.
The CHAIRMAN. Do they have organized meetings?
Mr. McKELWAY. Oh, yes; we have regular meetings of the board and an annual conference. We are incorporated by act of Congress. It is one of the few organizations that is.
The CHAIRMAN. You have a national charter, then?
The CHAIRMAN. You say there are how many contributing mem-. bers?
Mr. McKELWAY. Eight or nine thousand, who contribute about $60,000 a year.
The CHAIRMAN. A statement has been made to me that an organization of manufacturers in Boston called the Arkwright Club, or some other similar organization, is a contributor to the funds of this organization?
Mr. McKELWAY. I don't think there is a word of truth in that. The Arkwright Club is on record in the Senate hearings as having sent a memorandum to one of the southern cotton manufacturers saying that the eight-hour law did not work very well in Massachusetts. You will find also in the hearings that when Senator Lippitt asked Capt. Smyth, of South Carolina, as to whether the New England manufacturers were behind this measure Capt. Smyth, from South Carolina, emphatically said they were not.
The CHAIRMAN. You don't know of any organization of manufacturers in Massachusetts or elsewhere who are endeavoring to advance this movement with a view to equalizing conditions of that child labor ?
Mr. McKELWAY. I am certain there is no such organization.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever consulted with the mothers' congress as to the methods of humanely framing these labor laws in such a way as to advance the interest of the child ?
Mr. McKELWAY. We think we are advancing the interests of the child.
The CHAIRMAN. Have you ever consulted with them? Mr. McKELWAY. I helped arrange for the first southern meeting of the mothers' congress meeting in Atlanta. I understand that Mrs. Schoff, who is honorary president of the Pennsylvania congress, had a child-labor bill introduced before the Pennsylvania Legislature last year, but the legislature adopted the bill which was advocated by the Pennsylvania child labor committee. I understand her position, from clippings in the newspapers, is that children under 14 should be allowed some opportunity for work, the theory of the idle child, and so forth. So far as this bill is concerned, I think it is rather too late to raise that question, because nearly all the States of the Union have fixed an age limit of 14, prohibiting the employment of children in factories. So it is already in operation in one form or another in 15 out of 48 States.
The CHAIRMAN. But experience might lead some of those States tomodify that law.
Mr. McKELWAY. The progress has been entirely in the other direction, that of abolishing all exemptions.
The CHAIRMAN. Mrs. Birney and Miss Garrett both deny that this direction is in the line of progress, and they say this whole subject is under consideration by the mothers' congress, and they requested postponement of this legislation for one year in order that they may have time to present the facts. What have you to say to that?
Mr. McKELWAY. I hardly think that the representations of only two of the members of the mothers' congress should be taken; one of them, I understand, Miss Garrett, did not represent the mothers' congress.
Senator TOWNSEND. Mrs. Birney did not say they spoke for the congress; she said she was corresponding secretary of the organization.
Mr. McKELWAY. The largest organization of women in this country is the General Federation of Women's Clubs. That has State organizations and local organizations scattered all over the country, and that organization has officially indorsed the Keating-Owen bill.
The CHAIRMAN. Has the mothers' congress ever made any showing to your committee or your organization, indicating the trend of their view as to the legislation which should be enacted on this subject?
Mr. McKELWAY. Not to my knowledge.
Mr. McKELWAY. No; I haven't seen either one. I have seen only the press dispatches.
The CHAIRMAN. I wish you would look over those statements and state to this committee your views as to their expression.
Mr. McKELWAY. I know that some of the State organizations of the mothers' congress are behind our movement.
The testimony to which I referred, denying that New England manufacturers were advocating the Federal child-labor bill to equalize conditions of manufacture, is contained on page 23 of the bearings before this committee and is as follow:
Senator CLAPP. Do you anticipate that the cotton manufacturers of New Eng. land are going to get enthusiastically behind this bill as a matter of competi. tion with the North Carolina or South Carolina people?
Mr. SMYTH. Mr. Mann made that statement in the House, and it was made by Mr. Gardner, of Massachusetts.
Senator LIPPITT. What was this statement ?
Mr. SMYTH. That the bill should be passed because it was a defense of New England manufacturers and a protection to them and putting them on an equality with the southern mills or bringing the southern mills up to an equality with them. You will find that in the Congressional Record.
Senator LIPPITT. You do not believe that, do you?
Mr. SMYTH. No, sir; I do not. I know that a great many of my friends in Massachusetts are opposed to the passage of this law.
Senator LIPPITT. You do not believe for a minute that the manufacturers of New England are endeavoring to have this bill passed for the purpose of engaging in competition with the South, do you? Mr. SMYTH. Not at all.
As a matter of fact, the National Child Labor Committee and the New England State committees affiliated with it have had just as earnest contests with child-employing manufacturers in the New
England States as elsewhere. With regard to the statement that "an organization of manufacturers in Boston, called the Arkwright Club, or some other similar organization, is a contributor to the funds of this organization "—that is, the National Child Labor Committee—I may say that any individual or organization may become a contributing member of the National Child Labor Committee by subscribing $2, thus being entitled to the literature we publish. We have had 12 annual conferences, at which a large number of people who were authorities on matters relating to the welfare of childhood have made addresses and contributed papers. In addition to the volumes which have thus been published we publish a quarterly bulletin and have printed some two hundred pamphlets relating to the various phases of the child-labor problem, thus creating a very considerable body of child-labor literature. But the attitude of the Arkwright Club is shown in a memorandum, published in the Senate hearings on page 231, sent to opponents of the bill who were then appearing before this committee. The following is the memorandum:
MEMORANDUM RECEIVED FROM ARKWRIGHT CLUB.. Massachusetts laws provide that women and children under 18 shall not work more than 54 hours a week nor more than 10 hours in any one day, and that minors under 16 shall not work more than 48 hours a week nor more than 8 hours in any one day, nor before 6.30 nor after 6.
Adjustments to new conditions for a year caused much confusion. In some cases minors under 16 were discharged ; in other cases they were kept for detached jobs, but not for regular work on machines.
Employers differ about result. Many cases of hardship occurred-where strong boys lost their jobs and their mothers went back to work. In some cities boys loafed about the streets. The final result is that comparatively few under 16 are now at work and none under 14.
So the Arkwright Club appears as in sympathy with the opposition to this bill. With reference to this memorandum and to the telegrams sent by manufacturers in Massachusetts to certain of the southern cotton manufacturers who appeared before the committee, I desire to introduce as a reply a letter received by me from Mr. Richard K. Conant, secretary of the Massachusetts Child Labor Committee:
MASSACHUSETTS CHILD LABOR COMMITTEE,
6 Beacon Street, Boston, February 26, 1916. Dr. A. J. MCKELWAY,
204 Bond Building, Washington, D. C. DEAR DR. McKELWAY: The telegram from three Massachusetts manufacturers and the memorandum from the Arkwright Club, sent to the Interstate Commerce Committee, make some general statements about the effect in Massachusetts of the eight-hour day for children under 16 years of age. They state that the law resulted in the discharge of such children from employment, causing hardship; that few such children are now employed; and that the children excluded from the mills do not go to school and are idle on the streets.
These are the same general statements which were made in newspapers at the time the law went into effect in 1913 and made again by a few legislators who tried to secure the repeal of the law in 1914. The statements were not substantiated by the report of the State board which investigated them; they were not substantiated at the legislative committee hearing on the petitions to repeal the law, and when they were advanced in our house of representatives and completely disproved by statistics the law was upheld by a vote of 162 to 42 and hasn't been questioned since.
The statistics showed that of the 31,000 children previously at work 28,000 had been granted new working certificates within four months after the law went into effect; that the children discharged had been very quickly reemployed on an eight-hour basis; and that the children were employed in all the operations in which they had been previously employed.
As far as we can find out, the situation is unchanged. The last published report of the board of labor and industries shows that about 25,000 children between 14 and 16 were granted employment certificates in 1914. Our observations indicate that children are employed in quite large enough numbers in all operations. For example the last inspection in Fall River, in 1915, showed that among 1,112 children under 16 who were employed in cloth mills 321 were employed as weavers, 403 as spinners, and 169 as spoolers.
The newspaper cries of hardship never gave facts. We made a diligent search for hardship and found only a few cases where temporary aid had to be given while the manufacturers were rearranging their schedules.
Idleness was investigated also. Children under 16 who are not at work are compelled by law to be at school. Reports which we got from truant officers throughout the State showed that this law was well enforced and that there was no more idleness than before the eight-hour law went into effect. The slight decrease in the number of children employed caused a corresponding increase in school attendance which was checked up numerically in Boston and which was noticed in other cities.
I don't believe that the general statements made in the telegrams are based upon their writers' own knowledge of facts. We find that the heads of corporations sometimes have a general idea about this question without knowing specifically whether the children are employed or not. The agent of a Lowell mill informed us that he had discharged all the children and that there were only 25 employed in his mill. We interviewed the overseers and found that 100 children were employed—just as many as had been employed before the law went into effect. The overseers stated that they were glad to get the children even if they could work only eight hours.
You will note that two of the telegrams state that employers differ in regard to the effect of the law.. I think that the four opinions expressed represent a very small minority opinion at the present time. Sincerely,
RICHARD K. CONANT, Secretary. I have carefully read the statements made by Miss Mary S. Garrett and Mrs. Helen P. Birney. I note that they are mainly individual expressions of opinion and, as Senator Townsend stated, they do not attempt to represent the sentiment of the National Congress of Mothers.
The proposition that we should postpone the enactment of the Keating-Owen bill for a year “ in order that the citizens and representatives of each State should investigate their own conditions thoroughly and then take up the question whether Federal legislation is advisable, or whether what they have learned will not enable them to take better care of their children than would be possible in any Federal laws," seems to me to disregard all the facts in the case. Citizens and representatives of the different States have been studying this question for many years, and have already put on record in State legislation their general acceptance of the standards of child protection prescribed in the Federal bill. As for uniformity American childhood needs the same protection everywhere. As high an authority as the American Bar Association deems that childlabor legislation is a matter in which uniformity is greatly to be desired, for the American Bar Association unanimously adopted the report of its commission on uniform State laws and recommended to all the States for adoption what is known as the uniform child-labor law, which contains the very standards we advocate in this bill, while going beyond them in some matters we have thought could not be contained in this bill, as, for example, the prohibition of nightwork by messengers under 21 years of age, on account of the demoralizing nature of that occupation, the prohibition of the employment of children under 16 years of age in dangerous occupations and of children under 18 years of age in extra hazardous occupations, etc.
The bill now pending before this committee confessedly does not touch many phases of the child-labor question, but confines itself to the prohiibtion of shipments in interstate commerce from mines, mills, factories, and canneries where children under the prescribed ages are employed, leaving many other employments for children which the States may allow or forbid, according to the will of their people, as crystallized in State legislation. So far as I could gather from a reading of the two statements by these excellent women, they make no point about the employment of children under 16 years of age in mines. This is a measure which has been adopted by a great majority of the mining States, and is designed not only for the protection of the children themselves but for the whole mass of miners who are subject to accidents brought about by the carelessness and recklessness of immature boys. For testimony on this subject, I respectfully refer again to the hearings on pages 190, 191.
Nor did Miss Garrett and Mrs. Birney suggest that children under 16 years of age should be employed at night, or that they should be employed for more than eight hours a day. Nor do they contend, nor would they contend, that the employment of children under 14 years of age should interfere with their training in the schools. Miss Garrett sums up her contention in the following words: “The kind of employment permissible for children under 14 in vacations should be left to the discretion of the school and medical authorities of the district in which the child lives.” The generally accepted principles of child-labor legislation have been so emphatically accepted by school authorities generally and by medical authorities throughout the United States, including the American Medical Association and the Philadelphia County Medical Society (see pp. 204–205 of the hearings) that I think it would be difficult to secure any competent testimony from either school or medical authorities favoring the employment of children in mills and factories under 14 years of age, which is the contention before us. Some of us are, perhaps, unduly concerned about keeping other people's children out of mischief by forcing them to labor. We desire for our own children, after 9 or 10 months of school, a period during the summer months called vacation. Why should we strive to enact for other people's children under 14 years of age a program which calls for, say, nine months of school and three months of work in a mill?
The prohibition of the employment of children under 14 years of age has been so generally accepted throughout the United States that it is almost idle to argue against it. Only three States, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Wyoming, have
no 14-year age limit in factories. Three States, Alabama, South Carolina, and Georgia, have enacted the 14-year age limit by recent legislation, which has not fully gone into effect as yet. Only two States, Colorado and Idaho, allow the employment of children under 14 years of age in vacations, and the number of children employed in these States in factories is insignificant. California, with a 15-year age limit, allows children of 14 to be employed in vacation, and the California law would thus harmonize with the standards of the bill before this committee. Out of 100,000,000 people in the United States more than 97,000,000 have said, through State legislation, that they are