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suspecting immigrants that they are officials, and after having secured their confidence frequently charge from $3 to $25 for a ferry or local transportation ticket, the correct cost of which should be from three to five cents. These men direct passengers to hotels where they obtain a considerable part of the excessive rate charged by the hotel as commission. Whenever such offenders are arrested charged with operating as public porters or runners without a license, their defense is that they are employees of an express company, and they thereupon produce baggage checks as evidence, and are supported by the testimony of their employer in their favor.
On complaint of this Bureau the Commissioner of Licenses ordered the appearance before him of several licensed express owners operating at these terminals. At a subsequent hearing it was shown that many were using the “ express agent” title simply as a subterfuge to operate as porters, runners, etc., without licenses.
The frequent inspections above mentioned enable investigators assigned to this special work on the docks, to familiarize themselves with the various systems of exploitation used, and much fraud is prevented by their presence. Upon receiving complaints they are thus able to locate violators of the law from descriptions given by complainants, or identify them by their method of operating
ALIEN COLONIES Eastern Division. - In the Eastern Division Albany has a negligible foreign population with some Poles, Greeks and Turks. Albany is, however, an exceedingly important transfer point for foreigners when Hudson river navigation is open and State contracts are being operated, owing to the fact that the great majority, if not all alien unskilled laborers, who work for the State contractors travel from New York City to Albany by boat.
St. Lawrence county has a large foreign population mostly Hungarians and Poles. These foreigners are mostly employed in the paper and pulp industries, with the exception of those in Massena, where there are a considerable number of Hungarians employed in the aluminum works, and permanent foreign settlements are located in Herkimer, Little Falls, Gloversville, Fonda, Amsterdam, Schenectady and Troy.
Western Division.- In the Western Division there are in Rochester, Italian and Polish ; in Syracuse, Italian and Polish; in Utica, Italian and Polish ; in Rome, largely Italian; in Watertown, Hungarian and Roumanian; in Oswego, Italian and Polish; in Geneva, Italian; in Auburn, Italian and Polish; in Geneseo, Italian, and in Batavia, Italian and Polish settlements. Alien colonies exist also in the Western Division at Elmira, Binghamton, Olean, Lockport, Niagara Falls, Lackawanna, Tonawanda and North Tonawanda, Dunkirk, Jamestown and Salamanca.
WORK IN BUFFALO Next in importance in the State to New York City follows Buffalo with its Polish population of 90,000. During the past fiscal year the activities of the Western Division of the Bureau of Industries and Immigration, in compliance with the requirements of chapter 514 of the Laws of 1910, shows an appreciable increase over last year. At the present time two field investigators, a Polish stenographer and the supervising investigator, recently transferred from the New York office, constitutes the staff of this Division. This, comparatively speaking, small force has command of nine languages.
During the past fiscal year 601 aliens and immigrants speaking twenty different languages have applied for aid and information to this office, of which 237 applied for employment, 173 for legal advice, 165 miscellaneous cases, 13 in naturalization matters, 7 in cases of deportation and 6 for interpretation of the Workmen's Compensation Law. Of these there were 286 Poles, 98 Italians, 67 Hungarians, 42 Russians, 27 Germans, 22 Greeks, 19 Croatians, and the balance of diversified nationalities 52. Applications came from the different parts of the State of New York, and such distant points as Montana, Washington, California and outlying provinces of Canada were represented. This fact alone indicates the great usefulness of the Bureau in disseminating information and advice to non-English speaking immigrants. This Division is recognized by foreigners as a clearing house for advice and information, the importance of which is rapidly growing.
Complaints are under the same classification as in the New York office. The transportation problem and the employment agency situation in Buffalo, fraudulent practices of notaries, interpreters and real estate speculators disclose the same familiar exploitations practiced elsewhere in the State.
Conditions at the railway stations of Buffalo were investigated on ninety occasions. An approximate estimate gives under normal conditions about two hundred and five thousand immigrants passing through the city of Buffalo each year, of which 70,000 arrive from New York over five trunk lines and continue their journey to points beyond this city; 5,000 have Buffalo for their destination, 30,000 are through passengers, not transferred from one station to the other, and 100,000 are general travelers. These figures refer to westbound immigrants in a normal year, and do not include east bound travelers, the majority of whom are destined to New York and Boston on their way to Europe. The problem confronting this office is to acquire perfect control over the situation at the railroad station, and to supervise the activity of the many cabmen and expressmen who frequent the vicinity of those transfer points.
The city of Buffalo passed an ordinance on June 11, 1914, regulating public vehicles. This ordinance went into effect July 16, 1914. In accordance with the provisions of this law, all cabmen soliciting on public thoroughfares must be licensed. At the public hearing which was held in the Counsel Chamber of the city, the Bureau of Industries and Immigration recommended that said ordinance should require every licensed cabman to post in his vehicle a list of maximum rates of fare to apply to all parts of the city, and that these lists should be posted in the English, German, Polish, Italian and Hungarian languages. This recommendation was adopted and this office prepared the necessary translations for the city authorities.
Conditions in the immigrant waiting room of the largest station require improvement. The ventilation is poor, seating capacity insufficient, and the sanitary arrangements are bad.
The Bureau is under obligation to many public officials, educators and others for advice and co-operation in the year 1914, which obligation is here gratefully acknowledged.
MARIAN K. CLARK,
Total inspections and investigations..
Names of children of school age referred to school
* Data not available.
Inclusive of reinspections. * Reinspections included with inspections.
Aliens in prison.
9 48 47 6 9
6 6 16 25 1 4
2 2 67
9 43 90 25 16 13 117
1 13 327
1 24 66 14 12 11 69 1
4 35 67 15 7 8 81 1
1 20 48 7
7 47 1
Includes 3,529 cases in which both parties concerned resided in New York State, 514 in which on resi del in this State and the other without, and 279 in which both resided outside of New York State.
t Does not include 176 cases in which money settlements were effected amounting to $4,007.21. Other cases included in the table involved money settlements amounting to $3,034.37, making a total of $7,041.58 in money settlements effected in both new and old cases.