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sions have measurably ceased) allow that this great change to our Constitution was sentimentalized into being--and unwisely so?
Did this change, by its fiat, the fundamental facts of group differences and relationships in a part of our land? Is the amendment, adopted 54 years ago, even now enforced in its spirit across the Potomac? And,further, has not resistance to this constitutional enactment been the cause of the political solidarity of one part of our country for more than 50 years? So sentiment, without wisdom, may fail of its own ends. It is our claim that this proposed legislation is sentimental in its inception, and not sane; and it is our hope that the committee will so judge it, and not report it favorably.
Now may we consider broader sides of the question? Those speaking adversely to the proposed amendment, in my hearing, upon grounds of constitutionality, spoke most convincingly-and as convincingly of it as violating family rights as well as State rights; as giving authority far removed (enforcible by an army of Federal officials); as a long step toward socialism; as leading to public support of families, often, when children whose work was needed, and they able to help the family in independent living, were by law forbidden to connect with employment. All these argumets have been presented to the committee clearly and convincingly as it has seemed to us. Two or three other arguments I will now offer-unreferred to before, as I believe.
In a Supreme Court decision in a labor case which is referred to in Atlantic Monthly for January, 1924, page 84, as reported, the court says: "There is no more sacred right of citizenship than to preserve, unmolested, a lawful employment in a lawful manner. It is nothing more than the sacred
right of labor."
Yes; the sacred right to labor! Not a condemnation to labor. Not a narrower of life, not a narrower of education-but a broadener of both. The Savior has said, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work." May not the child follow the footsteps of the Savior in this?
To conclude, Mr. Chairman, this proposed legislation seems to us uncalled for, unwise, and socialistic! So others have expressed themselves to whose attention I have called it in recent days by showing copies of bills offered. Among these are men prominent in private and public life in this city.
The representative of the National Grange said he did not approve of such legislation "certainly for country children" and the Secretary of Agriculture, Mr. Wallace, gave me permission to say for him that "he believed children should be taught to work in their early years." Cthers in the Agricultural Department expressed similar views.
A public referendum (we are assured) would emphasize this general sentiment of opposition to this proposed child-labor amendment, which would virtually put the 30,000,000 youth of our land into an industrial District of Columbia, to be controlled by Congress through the Children's Bureau, with farremoved and autocratic authority.
EDWARD F. DICKINSON.
The CHAIRMAN. The hearings are adjourned until next Thursday at 10 o'clock, by resolution of the committee on motion of Mr. Foster. The committee itself will meet on Wednesday for the transaction of other business.
COMMITTEE ON THE JUDICIARY,
Washington, D. C., Thursday, March 6, 1924.
The committee met at 10 o'clock a. m., Hon. George S. Graham (chairman) presiding.
The CHAIRMAN. Is Mr. Clark present?
Mr. CLARK. Mr. Chairman and gentlemen: I wish to introduce Mr. Carter, executive secretary of the Child Welfare Commission of North Carolina.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Carter, we will be glad to hear from you. Mr. HERSEY. I do not understand your position.
STATEMENT OF MR. E. F. CARTER, EXECUTIVE SECRETARY CHILD WELFARE COMMISSION, STATE OF NORTH CAROLINA
Mr. CARTER. I am executive secretary of the State child welfare commission.
Mr. HERSEY. What State?
Mr. CARTER. North Carolina.
The CHAIRMAN. Mr. Carter, if you would make your remarks as brief as you can, with due regard to giving emphasis to what your thought is, we will be obliged to you; because we have to be in the House at 12 o'clock and have other business to consider.
Mr. CARTER. Yes, sir.
I wish to make a statement, Mr. Chairman, as to the commission, its powers and functions, in the beginning, and the administration and the actual work accomplished in the last year, showing the employment situation in North Carolina as it relates to children under 16 years of age.
This commission was created by an act of the general assembly of 1919, which became effective July 1 of that year. The act names the superintendent of public instruction, the secretary of the State board of health, and the commissioner of public welfare ex officio as constituting the State child welfare commission.
It gave them the power, which has been held by the attorney general of the State to be founded upon the paternal power of the State over children seeking employment, to make regulations as to children under 14 years of age in employment under all of the terms mentioned under the child labor law. It says:
No child under the age of 14 years shall be employed, or permitted to work, in or about or in connection with any mill, factory, cannery, workshop, manufacturing establishment—
Those first five terms or classes, I wish to state, agree identically with the Federal law which was enacted. Then, in addition to that, the North Carolina law goes on and adds 15 others:
laundry, bakery, mercantile establishments, office, hotel, restaurant, barber shop, bootblack stand, public stable, garage, place of amusement, brickyard, lumberyard, or any messenger or delivery service, except in cases and under regulations prescribed by the commission hereinafter created.
Section 6 reads as follows:
No person under 16 years of age shall be employed, or permitted to work, at night in any of the places or occupations referred to in section 5 of this act between the hours of 9 p. m. and 6 a. m., and no person under 16 years of age shall be employed or permitted to work in or about or in connection with any quarry or mine.
SEC. 10. That if the employer of any person under 16 years of age shall, at the time of such employment, in good faith, procure, rely upon, and keep on file a certificate issued in such form and under such conditions and by such persons as the said commission herein provided for shall prescribe, showing that the person is of legal age for such emplyoment, such certificate shall be prima facie evidence of the age of the person and the good faith of the employer. No person shall knowingly make a false statement or present false evidence in or in relation to any such certificate or application therefor, or cause any false statement to be made which may result in the issuance of an improper certificate of employment.
Mr. HERSEY. What is your claim, Mr. Carter-that North Carolina has a good child labor law?
Mr. CARTER. Yes, sir.
Mr. HERSEY. Well, how does that help us here? We are not legislating for North Carolina alone, but for the Nation.
Mr. CARTER. I wanted to show to the committee that, in the tying in in this commission of the combined forces of education, health, and public welfare, which have to do with the greatest elements in dealing with child labor, we think we have a good plan which, if interfered with at this time, would seriously retard the constructive work that is being done in North Carolina.
Mr. HERSEY. How would this amendment interfere with your work?
Mr. CARTER. If there were other regulating powers set up under the machinery of the Federal Government, we do not feel that there would be the same cooperation between the departments, and there would not be the same results accomplished in the individual departments through the cooperation of the board of education, the board of health, and the board of public welfare.
Mr. FOSTER. Under your present State law can 12-year-old boys work in mills during vacation time?
Mr. CARTER. Yes, sir; I can make that statement under the head of that item, which I have here. There is a rule of the commission to the effect that after the places have been investigated by the superintendent of public welfare, the superintendent of schools, or an agent of this commission an employment certificate for work during vacation may be issued when it is sure that there is nothing that will harm the morals or the health of the child, and on the strength of these sections which I have just read the State child welfare commission has formulated the following standards:
Unlawful physical conditions:
Children employed with symptoms of disease contributory to retardation or disability.
Under that section, it is not infrequent for us to deny a certificate to a child under 16 years of age, and remove that child from employment. In one county in which clinics were established as a result of our work 33 per cent of the children were found to come under the class covered by that very rule or standard, which was passed by the commission regulating all children under 16 years of age under the certification plan.
The second unlawful physical condition is as follows:
Children employed when determined by physical examination that employment is injurious to health.
I want to say that it is very common for our authorized agents or the superintendent of public welfare in the counties to have a list of such cases; and sometimes two or three examinations are made of a child before the certificate is issued. If there is any doubt as to the child's physical condition, that certificate is held with a 30-day recall for examination; and it is not an uncommon thing to find those slips or memoranda upon the desks in the offices of our local agents, in the following up of this kind of work.
Mr. FOSTER. May I ask this question: Your State law still lets out the prisoners in your prisons who work under private contracts, does it not? You have a law that permits that, have you not?
24666-H. Doc. 497, 68-2-13
Mr. CARTER. I am not positive that that is practiced to any great extent anymore.
Mr. FOSTER. Well, is not this your present law in North Carolinathat prison labor in the prisons is limited to eight hours per day, prison labor under contract is limited to nine hours, and as to your women and children there is no limit?
Mr. CARTER. Yes, sir; we have a 10-hour labor regulation in North Carolina.
Mr. FOSTER. For what?
Mr. CARTER. For women and children.
Mr. FOSTER. Why not make it as low as for your convicts, at least?
Mr. CARTER. That is a question for the general assembly to decide.
Mr. FOSTER. Of course, I was not putting it up to you personally, but I was just taking up the question of the law; and I notice that your statute does limit the hours of labor of prisoners in the penitentiary to 8 hours; and when those inmates are contracted out, the limit is 9 hours a day, and Mr. Pringle, who has been here, has been making a survey; and in one of his articles he says it is common practice in North Carolina to find women and children working 10 or 11 hours a day under your law.
And I wish to find out about that condition.
Mr. CARTER. I wish to state to the committee that the law making a 10-hour day does not say definitely that it shall be 10 hours each day, but 60 hours per week; and it has become a general practice in North Carolina that, with a half-holiday on Saturday, which has become a recognized practice, they will have 55, and sometimes less, or sometimes 56, 57, or even 60 hours in a week. That gives us sometimes a schedule of 11 hours per day, in order to give the half-holiday on Saturday. That is a common practice, and has been brought about very largely by the employers making Saturday a half-holiday.
Mr. FOSTER. If your statute reads that way, would you, by virtue of your position, feel like recommending legislation that the hours of labor for women and children should be not greater than those for convicts?
Mr. CARTER. I take this position, gentlemen: That in regulating as to the child employment, it should be based upon the same principle as already established in our State-that of tying-in education with health and public welfare, as we are trying to do at the present time, making that the unit of employment of children over 14 years of age.
I wish to state that, since July 1, we have put into practice our individual checking system, of inspecting each plant by an authorized agent of this commission; of making a detailed inspection of the plant, taking up the certificates which are issued in each plant, and checking those against each child that is employed in the plant; making an official record of that, and turning it in to the commission for tabulation. That is the first time, to our knowledge, that this work has been accomplished in North Carolina, showing the exact employment situation of children.
According to the previous reports of the census, showing the employment of children in manufacturing places in 1920, we find that
there were 6,244 employed. The labor report issued in the same year showed 6,623 children under 16 years of age employed.
Mr. HERSEY. In the whole State?
Mr. CARTER. In the whole State. And as a result of our eight months' work, which has just been completed, on March 1 we find 4,691 children actually employed. That, I wish to state, is information shown above the signature of an authorized agent of this commission specially designed for that work of investigation.
Mr. HERSEY. Does your investigation show what the ages of the children are?
Mr. CARTER. Under 16 years of age.
Mr. HERSEY. Yes; but have you not any further information than that they are under 16 years of age? How much under 16 years of age?
Mr. CARTER. From 14 to 16 years of age covers 4,691 children.
Mr. CARTER. We found in that connection in all the plants a grand total of 66 children. That covers all of the 24 terms used in the law; taking the State as a whole, and checking it off, we found 66 children under 14 years of age employed in the several terms that I have read to you in this child labor law. They are in there, as our labor investigators report, under different excuses; we find children in there who have gone in at the noon hour with their parents' dinner pails, and have remained after the noon hour; yet they were in there by the side of the machinery, or in the place of business which we were investigating. I wish to say that that takes in all of the laundries, the bakeries, the machine shops, and the textile plants as an entirety, and as a grand total we have discovered 66 children.
We have gone at this thing, gentlemen, without any desire whatever to leave anything undone, because of the exacting position that has been taken by the public as to the conditions in North Carolina, and as to the wide publicity given to the armies of children who are presumed to be employed there. So that I feel in making the statement that it is absolutely true, that it has been certified to by men who have been definitely designated and authorized to make the investigation. It is the first information that we have had as to our actual child-labor situation in North Carolina; and not only that, but in these investigations we have investigated the sanitary conditions of the buildings, the stairways, the fire exits, and the general conditions of the rooms, as to first-aid equipment, and all of those things that go to contribute to the general welfare of the employees.
Mr. FOSTER. How long has your State had a child-labor law? Mr. CARTER. I am sorry that I can not state that definitely. This reconstruction of all this program came about in 1919, but the act was passed which gave the powers of inspection over all of these different places that I have spoken of.
Mr. FOSTER. This is the first survey that you have made, is it? Mr. CARTER. No, sir. We have known what our certification work was all the time, but this is the first check against the actual employment of children that we have had. I am drawing these contrasts and trying to show that these 6,623 cases were reported voluntarily as a result of the questionnaire of the labor department in 1920.