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mean that a child would come to the mill and work four hours and then go back and go to school. Was that your idea ? Did I get it?
The CHAIRMAN. Either that or to engage in recreation.
Mr. PATTERSON. There is no question about our being able to work a child for four hours and let him out to do nothing the rest of the day. That could be very easily accomplished, but you can not keep families under those conditions, because the families could not live on that sort of work. The children are paid for their services per hour, and right on that line I want to tell you that out of 546 people in our mill, we had only 41, I think it was, who were getting less than $1 a day. We have boys down there 17 years of age getting $1.75 a day.
The CHAIRMAN. But I think it would be a great deal better for a child to get say 50 cents for a half a day than a dollar for a day. I can see, of course, that it would require more operatives.
Mr. PATTERSON. If the number of employees were ur limited you could, by building enough houses, accommodate your help. Work a boy half a day and get some other boy to take his place.
The CHAIRMAN. At all events, I think a bill like this which absolutely cuts off the children under 14 years from the opportunity for getting training for the hands, which would fit him for the battle of life, is an inhumane law-- I mean to say it would prove inhumane in many instances.
Mr. PATTERSON. We would like to get this committee, as many as will come down, to see how much inhumanity is being practiced in the southern cotton mills, and whether they look that way.
The CHAIRMAN. I think children ought to have a chance between 12 and 16 years of age of training themselves in the industries that they are to pursue as a life vocation.
Mr. PATTERSON. I agree with you exactly on that point, but the question now is who is going to support the families while they are doing it-I mean in remote instances, it is not every instance. I told you a minute ago that out of the number of operatives we have we only have 13 under 16 years of age.
Senator POMERENE. What is that? Thirteen under 16?
Senator POMERENE. Then it is not going to be a serious trouble with you?
Mr. PATTERSON. It is not going to be a serious trouble in this way: You must not understand that it means just getting rid of 13 hands; not at all. I have one instance in mind of a young girl who is making about $1.37} a day; she is 15 years old. Her father is a sweeper; he is 72 years of age. All he does is to sweep the floor; and her mother is a confirmed invalid. Now, this girl, if she is turned out of employment, it does not mean that that old gentleman would support that family; it means that the whole family will have to move out of the village, and go to work for some one else.
Senator POMERENE. It is not turning her out; it is simply reducing her time to eight hours a day.
Mr. PATTERSON. That is just what can not be done in our mill, because we are not going on the eight-hour system until we are compelled to do so.
Senator POINDEXTER. Why can you not go on the 16-hour system and have two shifts?
Mr. PATTERSON. That would not help us unless we put our other departments on the 16-hour system, because they are all figured out mathematically, one to keep up with the other so much product per hour all the way through-and according to the terms of this bill you could not do that anyway, because you are not allowed to work after 7 o'clock at night or before 7 o'clock in the morning.
Senator POMERENE. You work 10 hours, do you?
Senator POMERENE. I wish you would explain to me why it is an insurmountable obstacle to say that here you put 13 children under 16 years of age on an eight-hour schedule and have some one else to take their places for the other two hours of the day?
Mr. PATTERSON. It is not an absolutely insurmountable obstacle. I do not mean to infer that for a minute. It can be done, but the manufacturers are not going to do it for the reason that they are going to hire people over 16 years of age and work them the regular working hours. If you are working by piecework, you will involve a lot of difficulties when you have a hand working in the middle of the day to take her work away or have her leave it.
Senator POMERENE. Are you working on the piecework?
Mr. PATTERSON. Almost entirely. Where we do not work the piecework, we work so much per hour.
The CHAIRMAN. Are there any further questions to be asked Mr. Patterson?
Senator POMERENE. May I ask just one more question? Unfortunately I was not able to be here during the first portion of your remarks on the subject, but have you any data in your States showing the number of children who are employed in mills, say, between 12 and 14 years of age and between 14 and 16 years of age ?
Mr. PATTERSON. No, sir; I admit I have not that data with me.
Senator POMERENE. Perhaps some one from your delegation would have it and furnish it to us. Have you some Labor Department statistics?
Mr. PATTERSON. I think I can get that for you.
Senator POMERENE. If you can, I think it would be of great interest to the committee.
Mr. PATTERSON. I just remarked a minute ago that out of the children in the State who are working at gainful occupations, there is only one boy under 16 working in the cotton mill.
The CHAIRMAN. I suggest that you furnish such statistics as you are able to furnish.
Mr. PATTERSON. I will be very glad to furnish them. Mr. Chairman, I would like to have the paper which I hand the reporter go into the record.
The CHAIRMAN. Without objection it will be inserted. (The paper referred to is as follows:)
EMPLOYMENT OF CHILDREN IN ENGLAND. The ('otton Factory Times, of England, in a recent editorial, says that children of 13 have been employed regularly in the cotton manufacturing industry of England.
The following editorial in that paper is very interesting, as it gives an idea of textile labor conditions in England to-day:
"The proposal to allow full-time work at 13 years of age has brought forth considerable opposition from people who do not understand the subject. Some have spoken
as if the change would deprive every child in Lancashire of a year's education, whilst others seem to imagine that the whole of the future physical well-being of the British Nation depends upon whether the full-time age is to be 13 or 14. These critics do not seem to be aware that the vast majority of children do already commence to work full time when they are 13, both in cotton mills and other places. It can be shown that the percentage of children who remain at school after attaining that age is only very small indeed. The change that has been suggested would, as a matter of fact, make very little difference to the present situation. Mr. PATTERSON. I also desire to read the following for the record:
OFFICE OF THE DISTRICT ATTORNEY,
Pottsville, Pa., January 27, 1916. DEAR Sır: I address you as one who, I perceive, is working to have Congress pass a just child-labor bill. As one who has given the subject deep study for many years, and as one who has lived his whole life among the class of people who are directly affected by such legislation, let me state that the child-idleness legislation adopted in Pennsylvania has caused awful distress among the following classes of large families among the poor:
1. Fathers incapacitated for labor by sickness or disease. 2. Fathers incapacitaed for labor by accident outside of his regular employment. 3. Fathers unable, because of indistrial conditions, to obtain employment. 4. Fathers in prison. 5. Mothers and children deserted by faithless fathers. 6. Families large and fathers' wages meager. And so on.
Under our legislation no help whatever is provided for families in any of the foregojng classes. The distress among them is terrible. I could relate instances indefinitely. The law has taken from these families the right of self-preservation—the right of healthy children to labor when the eixgnecies of the home demand them to laborand has given them nothing instead. Candidly, isn't it more in keeping with Christian doctrine to let children labor (under proper conditions) than to send whole families to pauper institutions? I began to labor about the mines when I was 10 years of age, and never afterwards ceased to be a wage earner, because my parents needed my help. I am proud of what I did. Why not then leave the same privilege open to the children of the future?
I would respectfully suggest an amendment to the act which would exempt child labor which is performed in order to prevent a family (1) from starving or (2) in order to keep a poor family intact. Believe me that the men and women who advocate these child-labor laws know nothing of the atual conditions that prevail among the poor industrial classes. You must actually live among them to know-for their voices never reach the upper stratas.
I urge you in the name of the millions of Lincolns yet unborn to continue your noble efforts to obtain such amendment to the Keating bill as will leave a vestige of hope for the poor who must labor. Sincerely, your well-wisher,
E. J. MAGINNIS.
AN OPEN LETTER TO THE LEGISLATORS OF PENNSYLVANIA.
[By Edward J. Maginnis.]
EVILS OF CHILD-LABOR BILLS.
The chief danger lurking in the majority of the child-labor bills under consideration at Harrisburg arises from the fact that one class of citizens composed principally of cultured men and women of, small or no families at all, living in comfort, albeit with good intentions, are attempting to force legislation on the industrial class, composed mostly of humble, stalwart men and women of large families living in contentment, but depending for existence upon their daily wages.
The distinguishing mark of a free government has been that the laws for the people are made by the people. Whenever the opulent and more intellectual element in society succeed in establishing laws that will operate exclusively upon the proletarian class, free government, as Lincoln understood it, ceases and aristocracy rules. Unless we can show that a considerable portion of the people to be affected by this
legislation favors its adoption we should, as true members of a free country, defer action until the wishes of the common people are better ascertained.
The writer at much personal expense of time and labor, and because of a natural sympathy for every soul struggling against adversity, has made careful inquiry among the families of the industrial classes and he has been unable to find a single mother of five or more children depending upon the daily wages of the father for sustenance, who approves of any of the proposed measures.
In short, the rich and childless, the old bachelors and maiden ladies, are striving to impose regulations upon the family of the poor man, which the latter does not want.
If thinking, reasonable men of the influential and patriotic class can be got to realize this truth, a powerful protest will assuredly arise against the enactment of such pernirious legislation. No effective protest is yet being heard simply because the ones who will be hurt are not able to make public protest. And even if those good mothers are thus visited with heavier burdens they will suffer on in silence, and the gay world shall little know their agony. Signs of a happy awakening, however, are evident. Here and there great men are beginning to think and speak upon the subject.
On March 23 Supreme Court Justice John P. Elkin, a man possessing the broad vision and soft heart of a real statesman, declared in a public address: “The question of child labor is now being very generally considered. This is a court problem and desires the best thought of thinking people. But in considering this question let us not forget that work is the common lot of mankind. The best men and the best women of the Nation to-day are those who were taught in the school of adversity and were reared to labor with their hands.
Prof. Nearing, of the University of Pennsylvania, has compiled some statistics which are interesting. He says: "Statistics compiled by colleges of America show that the average size of the family of a college graduate is 1.9 children.”
As the average family must include at least four children simply to perpetuate the race it requires small argument to show what would happen to this world if all children were constrained to become college graduates. Within a few centuries the earth would become as barren of human life as the moon. Yet we are told in beautiful language that education is the great moral force of the world. We have a glimmering recollection that the Good Book somewhere says
that was born to labor. Prof. Nearing further states: “The birth rate in Chestnut Hill and Germantown is two and one-half children to the average family (less than in decadent France); in Kensington it is three children to the average family; and in the second ward of Philadelphia it is seven children to the family,
The lesson is startling; the more mankind is inclined to labor the more he begets respect for and obedience to the prime laws of nature. Is it not time for the brilliant ones among the industrial class to become social uplifters and urge the adoption of civil laws that will insure the perpetuation of the families of the educated and wealthy classes? Or, since the poor must assume the major burden of perpetuating the race, would it not be a just regulation to tax every adult man and woman in elite society, say, $1,000 a year for each legitimate child he or she lacks of a normal family of four, and let the proceeds be distributed by the State among the good fathers and mothers of the industrial class who are rearing large families?
At the hearing in the hall of the house at Harrisburg on Wednesday, March 17, a host of club women from various sections of the State appeared and made pathetic pleas in behalf of the child laborer. They spoke as though they believed that the average child is a sort of nonrefillable bottle, containing so much energy which when depleted leaves the child a physical wreck. And yet they all, without exception, went on record as being opposed to an eight-hour day for servant girls or domestics.
These good, noble women, upon whom rests the solemn obligation of attending to social affairs of select society, might be obliged to do some of their own housework if perchance their child servants were limited to an eight-hour workday. Are we to understand that working girls are to be forced out of the stores and factories and given the alternative of working unlimited hours as domestics? Does not this circumstance again illustrate the misguided agitation back of the child-labor reform?
And, lest the writer be charged with taking a stand against liberal education of the mind for any person who can possibly afford it, be it noted emphatically that he has an abiding faith in the good men and women of our industrial class that they will never deprive a child of the opportunity to acquire such intellectual training as the child needs or desires. Let the State provide every facility for education; provide board as well as tuition at the State college; offer premiums to the children of the poor who seek higher education; and establish free professional schools for the poor; but then leave it to the wise judgment of our good fathers and mothers to determine
whether their children need manual labor as well as education in order to develop their characters.
History, which, by the way, is becoming an obsolete study, teaches that labor and sacrifice in virile youth molded the characters of most of the lovable men and women of fame.. “But," the zealous social reformer retorts, "many fathers and mothers exploit their children.". True, but why should that fact be a justification for laying harsh restrictions on the parental hand generally? It is a principle of common law that it is better that ninety-nine guilty escape than that one innocent person be punished. Are not our God-loving fathers and mothers of the industrial class deserving of as much consideration as the criminal? Why reverse the principle as to them, and punish the ninety-nine devoted parents in order to catch the one who exploits his or her children? Herod, it is said, put 99,000 innocent children to death in order to prevent the rearing of One who was to come to teach the dignity of labor; but Herod was a rich man without a large family of his own.
The records show, and our police authorities attest, that just in the same degree that we have encumbered our law books with unwise child-labor legislation have we increased the work of our juvenile courts and crowded our reform schools. An authority on such matters wrote recently in one of our large dailies: "The breaking up of the social unit—the family—is responsible for the fact that the city of Philadelphia has an army of 10,000 little ones in homes and institutions.”. Certainly homes will be broken up when we deny to poor families the God-given right to sustain themselves by labor. Many boys from 12 to 14 years of age are daily brought into our juvenile courts charged with incipient crimes. Invariably it is found that such boys have formed a dislike for school training, but they are willing to work for wages.
Under our present system there is nothing left for the trial judge to do except to send them to reform schools. There they are associated with hundreds of boys all affected with different forms of vice or moral delinquency. The result is, as the writer has often verified, that they return to society a little better educated in booksand crime. How much better for society if these boys could be paroled and put to manual labor under the care their parents.
None of the proposed child-labor bills contains an exception in favor of this largię class of boys. They will not go to school, the social reformer ordains that they shall not work, hence they must become criminals, for idleness leads ever to crime. Why not first call a convention of all the probation officers of the State and get their opinion as to what ought to be done with our incorrigible, truant, and delinquent boys?
Finally, let us present the case of the mothers in such clear light that only the hardened of heart can longer advocate measures that would rob them of the last vestige of hope. When the soldier in war shoots down his brother, we decorate him for valor; when the mothers of men sustain the race, we strip them of their natural right to the child's help; we put no trust in their sense of honor. Instead of argument, let us exhibit the living examples of the cruel consideration which the social reformer grants to our Spartan mothers.
Here are a few pages taken from the book of life; examples which have come under the eye of the writer; examples which are multiplied the country over in all our industrial centers. And be it remembered that the proposed measures, by restricting further the right of the child to labor, will immeasurably increase the miseries here depicted.
And first we take the case of Mrs. O'Brien. Mrs. O'Brien was a religious woman; she read her Bible and learned that it is God's eternal decree that man shall increase and multiply. She has six children, and her husband worked in the mines. The whole family ate well, slept well, sympathized with their less fortunate neighbors, and obeyed the law. The earnings of the father barely provided for their current needs. One day Mr. O'Brien was stricken down with an incurable malady. The eldest boys were respectively 11 and 13 years of age. They were willing, anxious, and able to work to make up for the loss of their father's wages. But no; it was economically wrong for boys of their tender age to labor in a free country. Hence the family was divided up; one child was sent here, another there, and poor Mrs. O'Brien died of a broken heart.
And there was Mrs. Bolinski. She had eight children, the eldest a girl of 14 and the next a husky boy of 11. Her husband, in a drunken frenzy, committed an aggravated assault on a neighbor and he got two years. Mrs Bolinski came into court with her brood and bade her husband an affectionate farewell as he was being led to prison. There was much weeping among them, and the older children strove to console the disconsolate mother with assurances that they would go to work and try to fill dad's place. But no; there was no right for them to do heroic things in a great free country erected upon the sacrifices of the hardy pioneers; hence Mrs. Bolinski and her flock