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were sent to the county almshouse-where there is no education for children. To . date no social uplifter has offered her any help.
And Mrs. Davis, too. She had but four children, just enough to entitle her to a place among the families of the elect. She had an unfaithful spouse, and he deserted her and and her little ones and fled the jurisdiction. She was able to take in washing, and Johnnie, her eldest boy, could do a man's job. Bur Johnnie, so an employer told him, was not old enough to be permitted to soil his manly hands in ugly toil; hence, Mrs. Davis, in addition to taking in washing, had to do a little begging on the side to preserve the family unity. It went hard on the proud little woman to beg.
And there was noble Mrs. Schmidt. Because of hard times her husband, a tradesman, was unable to get employment. There was plenty of work about that her boys could do, but they could not get employment certificates unless their parents took false oaths. Mrs. Schmidt, fortunately for her, came of a hardy race. She did not go to the poorhouse, but instead took in two washings a day with ironing, and thus kept the table provided while her husband searched the country for a job. It might be added as a detail that the awful strain broke her down in body.
But lest the foregoing seem but commonplace recitals of human experience, we will relate the story of Mrs. Haas for the delectation of our pseudo-social reformers. And to avoid all play on the sympathies we will not color any of the details. Last fall her husband became ill and was unable to work. She is the mother of six children, the eldest physically able to work, but prohibited by law. The family income being shut off they were actually starving when a fellow laborer happended in one day. Moved by compassion, the fellow laborer went out and soon returned with three chickens. Within an hour thereafter the chickens were devoured. It was the first substantial food they had eaten in many days. It turned out that the chickens were stolen. As: soon as Haas got up from his sick bed he was arrested for receiving stolen goods. He admitted to the court that he and his family had eaten the chickens, knowing them to have been stolen. He was sentenced to serve a year and three months. The family became destitute. The distressed mother was tempted to put her virtue on the block, but she was brave. Kind friends brought the matter to the attention of the court, and after some months her husband was paroled.
Thus hundreds of faithful women are forced by legislation conceived in absolute. ignorance of conditions prevailing among the industrial class to sacrifice their bodies, to beg, to retreat to pauper institutions, to sacrifice their lives, to sell their honor, in, order to preserve their families.
“Oh," the college professor, the club woman, and the childless philanthropist will exclaim in unison, “the widows' pension and the compensation act will take care of those unfortunate women." The writer challenges anyone to point to a single provision in the statute books of Pennsylvania, or in any of the proposed reform bills, which provides any adequate relief for a mother in any of the circumstances above. noted. And yet, if we were humanely inclined, how easy it would be to incorporate a proviso to permit the healthy sons of distressed mothers, say over the age of 12 years, and having a third-grade school education, to work at such manual labor as his home physician would certify that he is able to perform.
Down deep in the hearts of these faithful mothers of large families there is a growing conviction that the world is unconsciously uniting in a giant conspiracy to crush them because of their unbending fidelity to the primary laws of God and nature. In time, slowly it may be, American manhood will awaken to the evils of fanatical legislation, and then we can hope for a return to first principles.
STATEMENT OF W. C. RUFFIN, MAYODEN, N. C., TREASURER OF THE MAYO MILLS AT THAT POINT, TREASURER OF THE WASHINGTON MILLS AT FRIES, VA., THE TWINE MILLS CORPORATION, ROANOKE, VA.
The CHAIRMAN. You may proceed with your statement, Mr. RUFFIN. Gentlemen, I made a statement before the House committee, and I have very little to add to that. There are, however, some points here that I wish to call attention to.
Senator BRANDEGEE. What House committee was it?
Mr. RUFFIN. The Committee on Labor. That is a matter of record so it is no use repeating it. Here is a copy of a letter written to Mr. A. F. McKissick, president of the Crandall Mills, Greenwood, S. C.,
signed by W. C. Stiles, chief division of zoology, which I will read, It is as follows:
PUBLIC HEALTÀ AND MARINE-HOSPITAL SERVICE,
Washington, D. C., June 23, 1909. Mr. A. F. McKISSICK,
President Grandel Mills, Greenwood, S. C. Sır: Your letter of June 21 in reference to newspaper reports of an address I recently made in Washington has been received. The address was given extemporaneously, and therefore I have no copy of it which I can send you. You ask me to confirm the newspapers' statement. In reply to this request I would say that in that address I was discussing the general subject of hookworm disease among the tenant whites of the South. In the course of my remarks I made statements which I have made in several other addresses and which I expect to repeat a great many times more. I described the insanitary conditions under which the tenant whites of the rural districts were living and the vastly improved, though not perfect, sanitary conditions they enjoy when they come to the cotton mills. I said that I looked upon the cotton mills as the greatest and almost the only real friends of the poor whites of the South, and that I could not concur in the popular condemnation to which the cotton mills are constantly subjected. I took the position that there is another side to the childlabor question, a side not generally understood; that I considered these children infinitely better off in the cotton mills than on the soil-polluted, disease-breeding, one-horse, priviless farms. About 68 per cent of the southern farmhouses I have seen have no privy of any kind, and many of the country schools have no privy. As a result of the soil pollution, diseases are widespread and many of these country children are extremely anemic and show a high death rate. When they enter the cotton mills they naturally take their farm diseases with them and persons unfamiliar with the existing conditions have, upon finding these anemic children in the cotton mills, attributed the anemia to the mill life and especially to breathing the cotton lint. As a matter of fact, however, upon reaching the mills the children exchange an intense degree of soil pollution for a very much lessened amount of the same. Theory demands that as a rule their anemia will decrease with their continued residence at the cotton mill village and that as a result their death rate will decrease. My personal observations are that the demands which theory makes are confirmed by practical experience.
I do not hesitate to repeat to you a statement which I have often made in private conversation and in public, namely, I have a daughter 10 years old; I think as much of that daughter as any other father in this country thinks of his child. If I had to choose between putting that girl to work in the spinning room of the average cotton mill and putting her to live on the average one-horse farm of the South, I should be compelled, in justice to the child's health, to send her to the cotton mill, and I feel assured that by so doing I would give her a better chance to see her 21st birthday. This does not mean that I am an exponent of child labor as an abstract proposition, but rather that I look upon child labor in the South as the less of the two evils, and given the present medieval conditions existing on the one-horse tenant farms, I view child labor as an actual blessing when compared with the child misery which is found more particularly in the sand lands and in the Appalachian region.
You will find a short discussion of this subject in the last Annual Report of the Surgeon General, a copy of which you can probably obtain by applying to Surg. Gen. Wyman, Washington, D. C.
Hoping that the foregoing statement makes my position clear, I have the honor to remain, Respectfully,
C. W. STILES,
Chief Division of Zoology Gentlemen, this is the part which I want you to pay particular attention to, because it expresses my feelings very forcibly after having been in the mill business neirly 25 years,
The CHAIRMAN. Is Dr. Stiles a Government official?
Mr. RUFFIN. He is Chief of the Division of Zoology, and is regarded most highly.
Senator BRANDEGEE. What department of the Government is zoology in? Do you happen to remember?
Mr. RUFFIN. The Public Health and Marine-Hospital Service.
Mr. KITCHIN. You may recall Dr. Stiles in connection with hookworm disease. He is the greatest authority in the world on that disease.
The CHAIRMAN. What part of the letter did you wish to call attention to?
Mr. RUFFIN (reading): I do not hesitate to repeat to you a statement which I have often made in private conversation and in public, namely: I have a daughter 10 years old. I think as much of that daughter as any other father in this country thinks of his child; if I had to choose between putting that girl to work in the spinning room of the average cotton mill and putting her to live on the average one-horse farm of the South, I should be compelled in justice to the child's health to send her to the cotton mill, and I feel as sured that by so doing I would give her a better chance to see her twenty-first birthday. This does not mean that I am an exponent of child labor as an abstract proposition, but rather that I look upon child labor in the South as the less of the two evils and, given the present medieval conditions existing on the one-horse tenant farms, I view child labor as an actual blessing when compared with the child misery which is found more particularly in the sand lands and in the Appalachian region.
You will find a short discussion of this subject in the last annual report of the Surgeon General, a copy of which you can probably obtain by applying to Surg. Gen. Wyman, Washington, D. C.
I do not believe there is anything in the world that I could add or could say that would more properly fit my ideas of the conditions as they exist in the South to-day, and have existed for a long time, than is contained in this letter.
Senator POMERENE. That letter fairly construed is not an argument against improving somewhat the conditions of the mills, but it is a very strong argument in favor of improving your local conditions on the farm?
Mr. RUFFIN. No, sir; I do not so understand it. I think it is a very strong letter showing that our conditions at the mill are not perfect or ideal by a great deal, but they are so much better than the people we employ have had befors. We do not claim that our conditions at the mill are ideal. We have never claimed that, but we do claim that this class of people from whom we draw our help are greatly benefited by moving to the mills.
Senator POMERENE. I have no doubt about that proposition, that the condition in these mills has improved very considerably during the last few years. I have no doubt about it.
Mr. RUFFIN. Not only the last few years, Senator, if you gentlemen will bear with me for just a moment. Twenty-five years ago the mills in the South were very, very few. We only had them scattered here and there all over the South. Our milling interests have been built up in the South in the last 25 years, and every mill that was built was an improvement on the other mill, and we are to-day, amongst ourselves, competitors for help. Now, the Mayo mill at Mayoden is so situated that in six hours any family that is dissatisfied with us can get employment at 15 other mills. They can move there in two days. Now, how are you going to mistreat such people? It is to our interest, and it is to our interest not only from a financial standpoint but from a humanitarian standpoint to take care of these people, and, gentlemen, we are doing it; the southern cotton mills are doing it.
Within the last 10 days our superintendent told me that he had three families tending farms to apply for work. They have come in there practically without a thing in the world. He asked one of them "Why have you applied for this work?” He said, “Simply because I have farmed out" -and what he meant was that he did not have any provisions to go on.
Now, in those families, gentlemen, there was only one boy 16 years old-I mean by that he was the oldest child and the only child 16. If this law were in effect now, the father and the boy are the only ones who could be in the mill or who could have gone in the mill. There was one 15 and one 13. Under our present State laws they could go in the mill and work. The point I wish to make is that this law would prohibit the younger ones of 15 and 13 from occupation or doing a thing
Senator POMERENE. Oh, no; it would not do that.
Senator POMERENE. It would simply mean this, to state the proposition fairly, that you would have to so change your conditions as to. employ these children over 14 years of age and under 16, eight hours a day instead of 10 hours a day.
Mr. Ruffin. Senator, we do not think--and in fact we are practically positive—that that is not practicable.
Senator POMERENE. Well, it may be a little inconvenient.
Mr. RUFFIN. It is not the inconvenience of it; it is almost impracticable.
Senator BRANDEGEE. What do you think would be the effect of the passage of this bill on children between 14 and 16 employed in the cotton mills ?
Mr. RUFFIN. The only way I can answer that candidly is what my position would be.
Senator BRANDEGEE. That is what I would like to have.
Mr. RUFFIN. At the Mayo mills we have from 615 to 630 hands. We have 102 boys and girls under 16. They would get out of the mills.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Do you think that would generally happen in the mills that you know about in your State ?
Mr. RUFFIN. I do not think there is the least doubt about it.
Senator BRANDEGEE. How many hours do you run your mills a day?
Mr. RUFFIN. We run 60 hours a week.
Senator BRANDEGEE. And this law, if it should be sustained as to its constitutionality, would allow you to employ children between 14 and 16 how many hours a week-48 hours a week?
Mr. RUFFIN. Forty-eight hours a week; yes, sir.
Senator BRANDEGEE. Well, do you not think the mills would make any attempt to see if they could contrive any way to retain the services of those children on an eight-hour basis if the bill should pass?
Mr. RUFFIN. The only way I could conceive of it is that they would think about it, and that would be all.
Senator BRÁNDEGEE. Can you explain, for the purposes of the record-not to me, because I think I understand it to a certain extent--why it is not practicable in practice to operate a mill where a portion of the employees are in the spinning room employed 8 hours and where the rest of the hands are employed 60 hours a week!
Mr. Ruffin. We have in spinning different departments. The final production is dependent upon the production of each and every department; the pickle room, which is operated by adults, the carding, practically all the card room, then he goes to the spinning room. If you do not operate that on full time and get the full production, you can not operate your looms on full time. That is the only answer I can give you.
Senator BRANDEGEE. I wanted you to say just what you wanted to. Mr. RUFFIN. Then here is an article published in the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service which I wish to read.
Senator POMERENE. Is that a long article ?
The CHAIRMAN. Let me suggest to you that the Senate convenes at 12 o'clock and there are a very few members of the committee present now., Suppose you defer that until this afternoon, and the committee will now take a recess until 3 o'clock.
(Accordingly the committee took a recess until 3 o'clock p. m.)
The committee reassembled at the expiration of the recess at 3 o'clock p. m.
STATEMENT OF W. C. RUFFIN—Resumed.
The CHAIRMAN. I want to ask you one question, Mr. Ruffin. You stated that you had something over 100 boys and girls under 16.
Mr. RUFFIN. One hundred and two under 16.
Mr. RUFFIN. I will have to get it from the mill. I am perfectly willing to wire for it.
The CHAIRMAN. Well, you may put it in your statement. Mr. RUFFIN. I will try to get it. The CHAIRMAN. Are there any other questions which any member of the committee desires to ask Mr. Ruffin?
Mr. KITCHIN. Mr. Chairman, Mr. Ruffin was proceeding to read from a book when the adjournment for luncheon was taken. gest that the committee allow him to read it now.
The CHAIRMAN. Very well.
Mr. RUFFIN. This is from the annual report of the Public Health and Marine Hospital Service for 1908. It is as follows:
HOOKWORM DISEASE. In the annual report for 1907, page 14, reference is made to an investigation of hookworm disease in conjunction with the Bureau of Labor as it relates to woman and child labor in the United States. The prevalence of this disease, especially in the cotton and knitting mills of the Southern and New England States, was made
the subject of careful study both from an economic and public health standpoint. The investigations were conducted by the Chief of the Division of Zoology of the Hygienic Laboratory. The field trip lasted about five months, and involved a visit to about 130 cotton and knitting mills and a number of other establishments in the States of North